When we met Alexandra Nodes from Alex Carro in London we immediately fell for her. Her energy, her vision and -needless to say her urban, contemporary, sophisticated Collection with a lineup of beautifully crafted products.
It didn’t pass much time till Alex Carro landed on Plentiness as it pretty much sums up all of our own values and expectations about Skincare.
We’ve asked Alexandra to tell us a little bit more about the genesis of her Brand and this interview is the result of a lovely conversation. Enjoy it and let us know if you’d like to know more!
PLENTINESS: How and when did you have the idea to create your skincare line?
Alexandra Nodes: I grew up in London, and I worked for a long time in museum and exhibition design. I suppose it combined my creative side with my nerdy fascination for research and obsessive archiving. I’d done an aromatherapy course while at uni, and at home I catalogued essential oils and plant and herb extracts like a museum archivist would.
All my life I had wanted to relocate to Spain – I spent my childhood summers at my grandmother’s place in Galicia – and finally I left London for Barcelona to dive full time into aromatherapy and essential oils. What had always been a hobby – mixing my own bespoke cosmetics at home using all natural ingredients – turned into launching my own brand. I’m still experimenting and creating, but now I have an amazing team working with me and we are growing in a way that’s really exciting.
PLENTINESS: Your skincare line targets both women and men. This is very interesting, as big cosmetic brands (and marketing) have been trying to provide us with gender specific products for a long time.
What’s your approach? Do you think a unisex skincare collection can be really effective for both genders?
Alexandra Nodes: I’ve worked from this premise from day one: developing and testing formulations on both men and women that are suitable for all skin types, and shareable at point of use. To me that is a modern and relevant way of seeing skincare. We have lots of male customers and they love the straightforward approach to skincare. Plus the gender specific discourse just creates constraints and barriers – so many of these ideas are just superseded in my view.
PLENTINESS: Tell us a little more about your formulations and ingredients
Alexandra Nodes: My philosophy about formulations and ingredients is based on the idea that nature gives us everything we need for beautiful healthy skin. In addition to this I like to combine innovation and science to create high-performance, efficient and exciting formulations. Biotechnology allows us to harness the best of science and nature, and that’s exactly what we do. Natural formulations that are effective, fulfill our contemporary skincare needs and that smell and feel amazing. Also I strongly believe in formulating with effective % of active ingredients, I don’t like an overly long INCI, I much prefer to work with fewer ingredients, that work well together and at a concentration that will have a positive impact on the skin.
PLENTINESS: What about personalisation in skincare?
Alexandra Nodes: No one knows your skin as well as you do. Alex Carro encourages its clients to look and assess on the go. Personlisation needn’t be complicated or time consuming. We’ve created a tool kit that encourages to tune your products depending on what you need.
PLENTINESS: Can you explain the concept of “mixability” of your products?
Alexandra Nodes: The idea is to empower users to mix-and-match depending on how much time they have to spend on their skincare, their skincare needs or indeed as a response to changing environmental conditions. From a core capsule collection of 5 products you have at least another 5 possibilities.
PLENTINESS: How many products do we need for an essential yet complete skincare routine? What about your beauty routine?
Alexandra Nodes: The Alex Carro philosophy really works for me, 5 products that I can mix-and-match depending on my skincare need and how much time I have.
Mornings are very quick and on-the-go, Facial Cleanser mixed with some Exfoliating Powder 2-3 times a week followed by Face Cream. Now that winter is here I mix in one or two drops of Balancing Face Oil into the Face Cream to create a richer texture.
The evening is really where I take my time, removing ‘the day’ and my make up with the Facial Cleanser, using a warm muslin cloth to remove all last traces of dirt and make-up. I follow up with a few drops of the Balancing Face Oil, and give myself a light massage, just 2 or 3 minutes. It relaxes my features and the aromatherapeutic oils signals time for rest and disconnection. I always have a Multiuse Balm on my bedside table, I nice thick layer on my lips before lights out!
Weekends mean more time to play! I love to mix the Balancing Face Oil with the Exfoliating Powder, I apply with a light massage leave to work for 3-4 mins and then emulsify and rinse off. Love to follow up with a nourishing Face Mask made up of the Facial Cleanser and Balancing Face Oil, which I leave on for about 15 minutes. After this combo, my skin feels like its had a deeper re-set, and I am ready to start the week looking fresh-faced and glowy.
PLENTINESS: How important is it for you to address beauty also from the inside?
Alexandra Nodes: Beauty is not just about skincare. Beauty comes from inside and out, it’s about how we feel about ourselves and how we feel about our lives – it’s one big package. How we nurture and care for ourselves inside-and-out. Fresh food, exercise, laughter and surrounding yourself with uplifting people. Gratitude and a positive mental outlook create the best and longest-lasting beauty.
PLENTINESS: What’s next for your brand?
Alexandra Nodes: We are growing in a really organic way. We aren’t in a rush, and we don’t want to compromise in terms of our collaborations with retailers. We are developing new products and testing them, making sure we arrive at products we are happy will compliment our existing range. There are a couple of new and very exciting launches and collaborations coming in 2019 – watch this space!