52 episodes

Join beauty writer Gemma Watts in conversation with some of Australia's, and the world's, biggest beauty pioneers. We're picking the brains behind the beauty products that fill your bathroom cupboards- the CEOs, founders and creative minds heading the brands that shape the beauty industry. From cult favourites to the products you reach for every day, from young entrepreneurs to companies steeped in history, these are the stories behind the most successful beauty businesses on the planet.

Glow Journal Gemma Watts

    • Fashion & Beauty
    • 4.9, 258 Ratings

Join beauty writer Gemma Watts in conversation with some of Australia's, and the world's, biggest beauty pioneers. We're picking the brains behind the beauty products that fill your bathroom cupboards- the CEOs, founders and creative minds heading the brands that shape the beauty industry. From cult favourites to the products you reach for every day, from young entrepreneurs to companies steeped in history, these are the stories behind the most successful beauty businesses on the planet.

    Kavi Ahuja and David Seth Moltz | Founders of D.S. & Durga

    Kavi Ahuja and David Seth Moltz | Founders of D.S. & Durga

    In episode forty five of the Glow Journal podcast, host Gemma Watts sits down, remotely, with the founders of D.S. & Durga, Kavi Ahuja and David Seth Moltz.


    Working in beauty affords me the great privilege of trialling brands, both local and international, as they become available in Australia. Often a product lands on my desk that piques my interest beyond my already vested interest in beauty, and as I start to research the names behind it, it becomes apparent that this particular brand is quietly redefining the category in which it sits.


    One such brand is D.S. & Durga, a fragrance house I first came into contact with in 2017 upon its launch into Australia. Founded in Brooklyn by husband and wife David Seth Moltz and Kavi Ahuja, D.S. & Durga came to be in 2007 when David, the brand’s now-perfumer, began developing fragrances for friends and family and Kavi, an artist, designer and architect by trade, suggested they turn their creations into a business. 


    What D.S. & Durga are doing is so different to other fragrances houses, and I’m so grateful that I was able to listen to them explain the freedom that comes with being a niche brand who can create whatever they want to create, and how they balance that with quite an intuitive understanding of what is commercially palatable.


    Being based in Brooklyn, D.S. & Durga is a self-described “quintessentially American” fragrance house in a market historically dominated by French sensibilities- not that there is a single thing wrong with that, however the perfume industry is saturated with brands intent on including French ingredients in their fragrances or French elements in their branding, even if that alignment isn’t necessarily authentic. As Kavi told me in our conversation, “Everything behind a brand matters so much more now than it ever has,” which presents a really powerful opportunity for niche brands to become their own storytellers as consumers want to know precisely who and what they’re aligning themselves with.


    This episode was recorded remotely, myself in Australia and Kavi and David in the US, so if you would prefer to read the interview you can find the complete transcript on glowjournal.com.


    In this conversation, Kavi and David discuss the malleability of creative disciplines, the art of collaboration and the significance of the scents of both burnt tyres and boat gas. 


    You can read this interview now at: glowjournal.com/interview-ds-durga-founders-kavi-ahuja-david-moltz


    Follow D.S. & Durga on Instagram at @dsanddurga


    Stay up to date with Gemma on Instagram at @gemkwatts and @glow.journal, or get in touch at hello@gemkwatts.com
     
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    • 1 hr 8 min
    Karen Behnke | Founder and CEO of Juice Beauty

    Karen Behnke | Founder and CEO of Juice Beauty

    How privileged I am to be learning about racism, rather than experiencing it. Black lives matter. The resources I mentioned that I had found useful can be found here: https://www.instagram.com/stories/highlights/17898196033499578/


    In episode forty four of the Glow Journal podcast, host Gemma Watts sits down with the founder and CEO of Juice Beauty, Karen Behnke. 


    Credited by Forbes as being the original pioneer of clean beauty, Karen Behnke’s career began as a health and wellness entrepreneur in the early 1980s. By the age of 25, Karen had founded two highly successful businesses in the fitness space, one being the first ever corporate wellness business in the United States- however the bank would not give her a loan unless she were married. 


    Karen explains to me in our conversation that, when you’re an entrepreneur and you feel you have a good idea, you blast forward with blind faith- and that’s precisely what she did. In 2005, she launched Juice Beauty, one of the world’s first organic skincare brands and one that completely quashed the belief that natural products couldn’t match the potency of their traditional counterparts. 


    With Karen widely regarded as an innovator across the health, wellness and beauty spaces, it made sense that when Gwyneth Paltrow was looking to develop skincare under her Goop brand AND find a clean, organic colour cosmetics range, it was Karen and the Juice Beauty team that she chose to work with. 


    Heralding a collaboration between Karen, Gwyneth and their respective companies, 2016 saw the launch of both Goop by Juice Beauty AND Juice Beauty’s Phyto-Pigment collection- a clean yet luxurious line of colour cosmetics, born out of Karen and Gwyneth’s wish for makeup that cared for the skin in the same way their skincare does. Gwyneth was also appointed Juice Beauty’s Creative Director of Makeup, a role she held for three years, with Karen and Gwyneth remaining shareholders in one another’s companies to this day. 


    Today, Karen tells me Juice Beauty’s focus is on returning to its roots. Time is being spent researching and continuing to innovate at the Juice Beauty Farm, with the brand working towards converting the entire farm to organic and continuing to improve upon their existing sustainability initiatives.  


    This episode was recorded remotely, myself being in Australia and Karen in the US, so if you would prefer to read the interview you can find the complete transcript on glowjournal.com


    In this conversation, Karen shares her biggest advice for those looking to fund a startup, how Juice Beauty manage to colour their entire makeup collection using plant pigments, and the secrets of the Green Apple Peel that put the brand on the map. 


    You can read this interview now at: glowjournal.com/interview-juice-beauty-founder-karen-behnke
    Follow Juice Beauty on Instagram at @juicebeauty


    Stay up to date with Gemma on Instagram at @gemkwatts and @glow.journal, or get in touch at hello@gemkwatts.com
     
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    • 1 hr 1 min
    BONUS | Pigmentation and Sun Damage with Dr John Sullivan

    BONUS | Pigmentation and Sun Damage with Dr John Sullivan

    In this special bonus Ask An Expert episode I’m joined by Dr John Sullivan. A dermatologist with over two decades of experience in both clinical practise and academic teaching in Australia and Canada, Dr Sullivan is leading the way in clinical research and is at the very forefront of advances in laser dermatology as the principal investigator on numerous dermatology trials. This in mind, I felt that Dr Sullivan was the ideal doctor to answer your questions on one of my most frequently queried topics- sun damage. 


    Away from our regular brand founder conversations, I am asked so many highly specific questions about the skin. Given that I am an educated consumer and by no means an expert, it would be extremely unethical for me to even attempt to address your skin concerns which is why I insist on taking those questions to a medical doctor. This Ask An Expert series is giving you, the Glow Journal audience, unprecedented access to medical doctors, professors and dermatologists and, while the series is sponsored by Candela, doctors legally and ethically have to remain completely objective in interviews like this. For this reason, this series is the most authentic way for me to integrate branded content into the podcast because it’s giving you, the listeners, completely unbiased expert answers to your most specific skin questions- questions that I cannot answer myself. 


    As mentioned, this episode is sponsored by Candela Medical, however all of Dr Sullivan’s views are entirely his own and, as per any interview with a doctor, you will hear absolutely no specific product recommendations throughout this interview. In this episode, we’ve taken the questions YOU submitted on sun damage to Dr Sullivan- from the treatment of pigmentation and freckles through to moles and sun spots, and just how much the sun damage we sustained in our youth can affect us as adults. 


    Given the state of the world at the moment, this interview was recorded remotely which is why there is such a discrepancy in the quality of the audio. There may be a few answers that are difficult to hear and for this I apologise, but I am still absolutely committed to bringing you the answers to your questions despite current constraints so I have made the entire episode transcript available on glowjournal.com so you can read the answers you might miss- almost like a podcast with subtitles. To find this transcript, simply visit glowjournal.com and search “Candela Medical.” 


    You can read this interview now at: glowjournal.com/ask-an-expert-sun-damage


    Follow Candela Medical on Instagram @candelamedicalanz
    Discover more at candelamedia.com


    Stay up to date with Gemma on Instagram at @gemkwatts and @glow.journal, or get in touch at hello@gemkwatts.com
     
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    • 33 min
    Elsie Rutterford and Dominika Minarovic | Founders of BYBI Beauty

    Elsie Rutterford and Dominika Minarovic | Founders of BYBI Beauty

    In episode forty three of the Glow Journal podcast, host Gemma Watts sits down with the founders of BYBI Beauty, Elsie Rutterford and Dominika Minarovic.


    Elsie and Dominika are almost disarmingly open and honest about their beginnings in business, and everything they said, particularly surrounding funding for women in business and also around global attitude to sustainability, will be ingrained in my head for quite some time. 


    After meeting in ad sales, London-based Elsie and Dominika bonded over a mutual interest in the wellness movement that was only just beginning to gain traction at the time. Their interest in wellness prompted them to start looking at the ingredients they were putting on their skin, and in 2015 their website, Clean Beauty Insiders, was born. 


    In the same way you might swap beauty advice or a recipe with a girlfriend, Clean Beauty Insiders became the globe’s go-to destination for, as the name suggests, clean beauty advice, and for recipes for skincare products you could make at home. Elsie and Dominika both began to study formulation science, and in 2016 their following was so large that they attracted the attention of a literary agent. Their book Clean Beauty, was published in in January 2017- a book that had been to auction, was bid on by every single publisher Elsie and Dom had pitched to, and was won by Penguin, no less. 


    Later that year, Bybi Beauty was born- arguably the first clean beauty brand to lead with a message about performance and science, rather than just the fact that it was a clean brand. Bybi launched onto Asos, one of the largest ecommerce platforms of all time, and is now stocked in beauty retailers globally. 


    As impressive as the Bybi story is, what I found even more impressive was how forthcoming Elsie and Dom were with their knowledge. Their approach to both beauty and business is absolutely no BS, and the way they talk about financing and pre seed funding and even just surviving when the business was in its lean years is the kind of conversation women NEED to be having. Money has long felt like a really taboo topic, but I think the more open conversations we, particularly women, can have around finance, the more financially empowered we can all be. 




    I’m interviewing two women here, and you’ll hear Elsie answer me first, but if you are confused about who is who you can follow along with the full interview transcript on glowjournal.com. Naturally, given the state of the world, this interview did take place on Zoom across continents so the audio is far from studio quality, but please persist because this conversation is rich and valuable and one I’m really proud to be sharing. 


    In our chat, Elsie and Dominika share the steps they took to secure investment prior to Bybi’s launch, how you can really know if the time is right to leave your full time job for your startup, and the clever way they bring new customers into the Bybi fold. 


    You can read this interview now at: glowjournal.com/interview-bybi-beauty-founders-elsie-dominika
    Follow BYBI on Instagram at @bybibeauty
    Find out more about BYBI at bybi.com


    Stay up to date with Gemma on Instagram at @gemkwatts and @glow.journal, or get in touch at hello@gemkwatts.com
     
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    • 1 hr 18 min
    Vicki Engsall | Founder of The Jojoba Company

    Vicki Engsall | Founder of The Jojoba Company

    In episode forty two of the Glow Journal podcast, host Gemma Watts sits down with the co-founder of The Jojoba Company, Vicki Engsall. 


    As I record this, in 2020, just about everyone I know has an understanding of what jojoba is or, at the very least, has at least heard of it- but this wasn’t always the case. I sincerely believe that so much of what we know about jojoba is thanks to Vicki. 


    Despite a long standing interest in the skin, Vicki Engsall grew up wanting to be a teacher- and so she became one. It wasn’t until she was trying to fall pregnant that business ownership looked to be a possibility. Little did Vicki realise, however, that the seeds that grew to become The Jojoba Company had been, quite literally, planted many years prior. I’ll leave the storytelling up to Vicki, but the events that lead to Vicki leaving her teaching role and launching her skincare company are perhaps the best example of serendipity that has ever been told on this podcast. When Vicki co-founded The Jojoba Company with her father in 2008, very little was known about jojoba. Today, thanks largely to Vicki’s background in education, jojoba is one of the most in demand ingredients in the world. 


    Of course, this interview was recorded remotely, and I think now is particularly good time to be spotlighting local businesses like The Jojoba Company. In this conversation, Vicki and I discuss what she has dubbed the “oil revolution,” what an “ingredients claim” is and why they can be so dangerous, and how to bring the skin’s lipid profile back to how it was at the age of 22. 


    You can read this interview now at: glowjournal.com/
    Follow The Jojoba Company on Instagram at @thejojobaco
    Find out more about The Jojoba Company at thejojobacompany.com.au/


    Stay up to date with Gemma on Instagram at @gemkwatts and @glow.journal, or get in touch at hello@gemkwatts.com
     
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    • 47 min
    BONUS | Isolation and Stressed Skin with Dr Ryan De Cruz

    BONUS | Isolation and Stressed Skin with Dr Ryan De Cruz

    Isolation skin. It’s real.


    I have never before received so many questions on one specific topic in such a short period of time. As you know, I am an educated consumer and not an expert, so true to form I have passed your questions on to a leading dermatologist- Dr Ryan De Cruz.


    In the name of full disclosure, this bonus episode is sponsored by CeraVe, however as per all of my expert interviews, the doctor is never here to push specific brands and products. For this reason, you’ll hear Dr De Cruz recommend specific ingredients, rather than products, and offer more general advice, giving you the tools you need to make your own, educated purchasing decisions. The crux of it? When the skin is stressed and irritated, PARE IT BACK. Look for uncomplicated, elegant formulas that will restore calm to the skin without irritants.


    If you are suffering from what has been dubbed as “isolation skin,” I firstly want you to know that you are not alone. As you’ll hear in this interview, many of the skin concerns a lot of you are working through right now are caused by stress, and while we can’t control the state of the world right now, there are steps we can take through our topical skincare to help restore that calm and balance to the skin. 


    I took to Instagram recently to collate your skin questions, and in this interview Dr Ryan De Cruz discusses the effects of stress on the skin, how we can avoid the irritation brought on by increased hand-washing, the skincare ingredients we should all be looking for and the steps we can take to strengthen the skin's all important protective barrier.


    You can read this interview now at: glowjournal.com/isolation-skin-and-how-to-treat-it
    Follow CeraVe on Instagram at @cerave_au
    Find out more about CeraVe at cerave.com.au


    Stay up to date with Gemma on Instagram at @gemkwatts and @glow.journal, or get in touch at hello@gemkwatts.com
     
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    • 45 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
258 Ratings

258 Ratings

1991cmb ,

Great poddy

Great podcast - so insightful and contains helpful information from credible sources and professionals.
The consistent ‘mmm’ and ‘mmhmm’ acknowledgement in the pigmentation and sun damage episode is a bit distracting at times though 🙃don’t know if it happens in other episodes yet - might be because it’s a podcast done in iso?

Lo9327 ,

My go to beauty podcast

Gemma asks all the right questions and is easily my go to girl for skin care and beauty advice. Pair that with relevant, informative and interesting guests and this is easily the best beauty podcast going around.

A.to.the.h ,

Incredible

Insightful beauty based content brought to you by the iconic Gemma Watts. Gemma is a force of nature and I have no doubt that one day she will rule the world. You should definitely jump on the good ship ‘Glow Journal’ asap and enjoy the ride, you won’t regret it.

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