Why Friend in Fashion’s Jasmin Howell is not just a pretty face

It was clear from the moment I met Friend in Fashion blogger and influencer Jasmin Howell that behind the sublimely-styled outfits and polished hair was one savvy business woman. Just how she would be using her creative skills to explode out of the digital sphere didn’t really become clear until late last year when Jasmin soft-launched her new brand Santorini Skin onto the Australian and New Zealand beauty scene. A launch that brought with it an overwhelming local response.

With the brand set to be rolled out across key international markets in 2018, we decided to pull Jasmin aside to have a chat about the move into beauty and what we can expect from the brand…

Firstly, congrats on launching a beauty brand! Can you tell me a bit about it?
Thank you! The Santorini Skin mantra is simple: 100% natural, Australian made, chemical & paraben-free skin essentials – all natural, nourished skin.

Why did you decide to get into beauty product development?
To be honest, I had started this journey trying to find a natural solution for my husband’s psoriasis. I would notice that the shower gels, washes etc he would use everyday would flare his condition, so I started looking at natural alternatives that weren’t filled with preservatives and chemicals. Once I started educating myself on some of the toxins and parabens so commonly used in a lot of cosmetics/beauty products, I HAD to pursue this further. I really struggled to find luxurious essentials that were good for you and left your skin feeling amazing!

And why a scrub and soak?
We’ve launched with two core products: our Elysian – Pink Crystal Sea Scrub  & Aegean – Pink Crystal Sea Soak. These products compliment each other perfectly and can be used everyday! This was a natural starting point for me – each product is rich in natural minerals and elements, soothes sensitive skin & doubles as a luxurious skin treat.

What are the key benefits of the scrub and how does it stand out from competitors?
Each Santorini Skin product is naturally rich in 80+ minerals & elements including magnesium (great for sore, tired muscles) and vitamins A, B & E, plus also promote positive lymphatic function as each product contains aromatherapy benefits. Santorini Skin is a 100% natural, luxurious product which nourishes the skin, body & soul.

Were you very hands-on with the R&D?
Hands & body-on! Each of the products have been developed from my own research and have been tested on my family to no end. I am a perfectionist, so I had to ensure that each facet of every product was perfect before releasing into the market. Needless to say, I’m in LOVE with the products.

How come you decided to go down the route of beauty not fashion?
For me, I have always had a very simplistic, natural approach to beauty. I don’t use a lot of products – but the ones I do, I want to be amazing! I really started this journey quite naively because I was looking of a solution for my husband and myself.

Did you help design the packaging?
The packaging was 100% my concept (from the start I had a clear vision) and my beautiful friend at Fika Studio brought it to life for me.

Where will it be sold?
We are available online at www.santoriniskin.com. I love the idea of delivering products direct to consumers. I love to interact with our customers and ensure their Santorini Skin experience exceeds their expectations. Down the track, we may look at select stockists. A dream would be to align with key stores to have a physical presence also.

How hard is it to juggle your influencer responsibilities with launching a brand?
I am busy, very busy – but wouldn’t have it any other way.

Has having a following on Instagram helped with the marketing side of things?
Absolutely! I don’t underestimate my beautiful community on Instagram – they have been a great source of support!

How else will you be marketing the brand?
We have a lot of activity in the pipeline, our key goal is to make sure everyone has a pretty pink packet in their bathroom.

Will you get into further product development with other beauty products?
100%! We have so many products already in development. It was a very conscious decision to launch with our foundation product to understand our customer and then tailor our products to their needs and uses.

Where do you see Santorini Skin in five years’ time?
I always struggle with this question, as you just never know where your journey will take you… I would love to see Santorini Skin serving as the go-to for luxurious natural Australian-made beauty.

Images: @santoriniskin +  @friendinfashion

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