We sit down with Shelley Down, womenswear designer, mother, wife and friend of The Facialist, to chat about business and her design ethos which reflects her simplistic approach to life and beauty. It has been a privilege to support Shelley's skin journey from dehydrated and chaotic to a happy healthy complexion. She candidly reminds us, it's not always smooth sailing and we hope you love her honest pared-back approach as much as we do.
Tell us a bit about yourself, and any key moments that led you to become the woman you are today?
My name is Shelley and I am a wife, mother and creative. We live on the Kapiti Coast by the beach and I love the simple pleasures in life. Just under 3 years ago I launched the first collection of clothing for Beiged as a hobby project and it has been such a whirlwind ever since. Safe to say it has grown into a bit more than a hobby but I feel so grateful every day to do what I love.
Beiged feels like an extension of you, tell us how you approach your design and the guiding ethos behind the brand?
I only design clothes that I would wear. Beiged is so deeply woven into my world that I couldn’t imagine creating products that I didn’t wholeheartedly want to wear myself. I have some key style words jotted down that I find personally influence my style so whenever I feel myself being influenced by a trend I always circle back to those keywords and feel grounded again.
This year has been a whirlwind for us all, managing the complexities that come with modern living in a pandemic, and somehow you’ve dropped some beautiful collections including expanding the range to include luxury fibres. TELL. US. MORE.
I feel like the pandemics silver lining was this amazing reset of peoples priorities. Suddenly in lockdowns we were forced to just focus on the basic tasks of living without all the noise usual life can bring. I found it really inspiring to go back to basics and it reinforced how little we need to be truly happy. It was through this experience that I sharpened my focus on quality over quantity. I also knew I wanted to make luxury natural fibres as accessible as I could so I focused on this being the main point of difference.
And where can we shop?
Beiged is available through our online store www.beigedstore.com and from selected retailers around New Zealand, Australia and Taipei.
You have a considered paired-back approach to style and living, how does this cross over into your beauty regime?
Simplicity brings me happiness. It calms my mind and allows me to be present. When things become over-complicated I find I don’t have the same follow through, my mind feels overwhelmed and I kind of shut off. So the regime Ashleigh prescribed through the skin script was perfect. 3 products in the morning, 3 at night. It’s simple, easy and effective so it always gets done!
It has been such a privilege to support your skin journey. Could you share a wee bit about your skin before your Skin Prescription?
I have not had great skin. I feel like a lot of people claim that, but they actually have great skin, but I really did not have great skin. I’ve suffered from acne in my adult life and I have scaring to show for it. I prescribed to the old school belief of drying out my skin to try combat it but that just left me with severely dehydrated skin at some points then overly oily skin at other times. I just didn’t know how to attack it and I had bought so many products believing in the quick fix marketing so I was feeling pretty defeated. When Brooke approached me I even warned her that I was probably in the too-hard basket! I am so incredibly thankful that all The Facialist girls took on the challenge.
And how has the Skin Prescription served you?
It has given me hope. It has shown me a knew path and plan of attack. Its given me the best skin I’ve had in my adult life.
Where are you at with your skin now? Any hero products you won’t be without or key learnings?
I recently fell off the bandwagon with my lifestyle, eating way too much crap and just generally not looking after myself, which has led to a skin flare-up. I contacted Ashleigh and made a plan on how to support my skin with some internal products which after a week I’ve already noticed a big difference with. Skin Accumax and the Bestow Beauty Oil for internal and Emma Lewisham Reset and the Jojoba oil from MV Skintherapy for external have all been my heroes. I feel like it's so important for people to realise what you put into your body plays a huge part in your skin health as well. They say you can’t out-train a bad diet, I feel like the same can be said for skincare. There are no miraculous products that give you amazing skin while you're not looking after yourself. That’s what I have loved about the Facialist approach, it is a lot more holistic focused.
What is next for you, Beiged and your family / what are you most looking forward to?
We are heading overseas for the first time since the pandemic which we are so excited about, we are off to explore India, Singapore and Bali. For Beiged I really feel a refreshed energy towards the brand that I’m excited to see where that leads to. With travel commencing and more socialising happening I’m feeling a pull towards more of a resort aesthetic so I can’t wait to explore that more with the brand.