Carla Oates needs no introduction. The journalist-turned-beauty mogul is the talented and clever brains behind one of the most recognised ingestible beauty brands on the market, The Beauty Chef. Born in 2009 after Oates discovered that a healthy gut was the foundation to glowing, radiant skin, The Beauty Chef has continued to go from strength to strength, pioneering products that all have the same goal — to support beauty from the inside out.
“As a journalist in my early career, I landed a job as a beauty editor for a mainstream newspaper and was inundated with beauty products from mass-market brands,” Oates explains of the brand's inception. “My excitement soon dissipated, after researching the ingredients and becoming increasingly concerned about the many toxic chemicals in skincare products. Women from all over Australia were writing into my column and asking what products they should use for their eczema, psoriasis and acne and other chronic skin issues as well as their ageing skin.
“I knew looking after your skin properly was an inside job from my own experience with eczema, and knew that none of these chemical-laden products would actually help, heal or rejuvenate their skin. I decided to make it my mission to help change the paradigm in the beauty industry and help educate women on how to look after their skin in a healthier and more holistic way.”
For now, as Oates continues to see dizzying success from The Beauty Chef (with her signature, core products household staples for many), the brand will focus on its goal to “educate people about the importance of gut health for skin and wellbeing.”
“It has been so rewarding to provide people with solutions-based products that have directly helped so many with skin and health issues. Also having a business that fulfils all of my greatest passions—design, nature, science and helping people.”
Below, take a peek inside Oates’ Black Book, which includes some her current fashion picks, how she incorporates The Beauty Chef into her daily routine, and the statement pieces the beauty founder loves to cook alongside.
“I am definitely drawn to natural materials that feel good on my skin and are made well and shaped well. I like investment pieces that will last a long time. I also like to wear clothes that I find beautiful, whether that is their material, their shape, their pattern or colour and have something a little different about them.” “The most treasured item in my wardrobe is a long tasselled dress that my mum wore in the ’70s.”
“My most regularly repurchased beauty item is my Sodashi Rejuvenating Serum. I love the serum, the scent, the results, the brand and the founder Megan [Larsen]. A beautiful Australian brand. I’m also really enjoying Emma Lewisham’s Supernatural 72-Hour Hydration Face Crème at the moment.”
“My beauty regime is very simple. I don’t wear a lot of makeup, however, I’ve always looked after my skin, both by nurturing my gut with nutritious wholefoods and fermented foods, as well as being mindful of the products I use on my face. I ensure the brands I buy have natural, pure and efficacious ingredients and are not mixed with harmful chemicals that will disrupt your skin's natural microbiome.”“Every morning I cleanse my skin with a homemade oil concoction, followed by a swipe of the Probiotic Skin Refiner and then Beauty Fix Balm around my eyes, fine lines and lip area to hydrate and protect. I then apply face oil, some moisturiser and sunscreen. My evening routine is much the same, although I skip the SPF.”
“Walking is a key component of keeping my overall wellbeing in check. It is like a natural filing system for my brain. It is both cathartic, calming and at the same time, energising. My mind can be full of thoughts, problems, ideas and by the end of the walk, I often have solutions, resolve and a sense of calm.”
“Each morning I have a glass of filtered water with The Beauty Chef’s GLOW Inner Beauty Essential and a splash of COLLAGEN Inner Beauty Boost — these are the foundations of my inner skincare routine.”
"The addition of COLLAGEN–which is like my internal skin serum–really amplifies the benefits of GLOW. This supercharged elixir contains a concentrated blend of maqui berry, acai, papaya, blueberry, goji berry and pomegranate–which are all potent sources of antioxidants for skin health. They are both bio-fermented in our state-of-the-art fermentation plant in Sydney and full of skin and gut-loving goodness!”
Cooking is one of my favourite things to do so naturally, I enjoy entertaining. I love combining the joy of cooking with the science of nutrition, so when it comes to the menu, both gut health and flavour are always top of mind.
I have a Dinosaur Designs serving bowl and Bed Threads linen tablecloth which are on high rotation. I also love Mud ceramics and I am a bit obsessed with Italian splatterware and anything from Alex and Trahanas. These pieces are artful and bright. They are a beautiful celebration of food–they make the table sing and make me feel happy.
“I think a home should be comfortable and nurturing so for me, our home is filled with well-designed and purposeful pieces as well as lots of texture and greenery. I wouldn’t necessarily describe our home as minimal, but everything has its purpose and I am drawn to natural fabrics, lots of natural light and a neutral colour palette, so everything feels inviting and calm. Besides my growing collection of ceramics, many of which carry a lot of meaning for me, my favourite piece at the moment is our boucle Jardan couch in the lounge room, which is super comfortable and fits the whole family, including our dog, Wolfie.”