At the Elate Cosmetics office and studio, ground floor of a beautiful, old Bastion Square building, I meet Melodie to chat a bit about life and style but mostly about a new kind of makeup company. A company based on clean, vegan, cruelty-free and sustainable cosmetics; one that uses inclusivity and positive messages rather than the fear and shame-based marketing that the majority of the beauty industry relies on.
Working in the beauty industry for over 20 years, Melodie has worn many hats, as a makeup artist and for an international cosmetics company. It was during this period that Melodie decided to make some major changes in her life.
“I got to travel all over the world, it was really really fun but I realized my life wasn’t very healthy. I started looking around at the impact that I was having on the world and the impact that those things were having on me. I decided to stop using beauty products that were unhealthy, stopped eating processed food, stopped buying clothes in the same way and decided to leave the cosmetics company I was working for as it wasn’t in line with what I wanted for my life.”
Melodie had always wanted to start her own business and during her healthful transformation she learned to make skincare products and then makeup. About seven years ago she began making her own products, testing them out on people she knew and eventually launched Elate Cosmetics almost four years ago.
What aspect of the business gets her fired up?
“It’s always been about the people for me, not just the makeup. I love creating new products and doing our photoshoots but the big thing for me is building community and bringing people into the vision and our mission of trying to make the world a better place. That’s what gets me out of bed in the morning.”
And what innate quality has led to her success? “I never stop. I’ll never stop learning, growing and I’m incredibly adaptable, whatever happens I just go with it. Over time we’ve had what one might consider a failure or setback but I never look at it that way. I think, ‘Okay, that sucks, how are we going to get past it and move on?’ because you can’t predict what’s going to happen and you can’t dwell on what happened before, you just have to keep moving forward.”
With the company now selling in about 130 stores worldwide and a growing online presence, I ask what’s on the horizon for Elate?
“Our goal is to be the world’s first waste-free cosmetics company, and we’re about 75 per cent right now. Our mission is to change the beauty industry and if we do this then other companies have to do it too. I don’t know where we’ll end up but we’re here at the beginning of a revolution of companies becoming more ethical.”
Uniform: Jeans, blouse, my thrift-store-found black Smythe jacket, worn-in boots.
All-time favourite piece: Black linen jumpsuit from Aritizia.
Currently Coveting: The Quince Tuxedo Jumpsuit by Stella McCartney … “It’s amazing.”
Favourite pair of shoes: Nisolo Mariella Mule.
Favourite Day bag: Matt and Nat Schlepp tote in “Horizon.”
Fashion Obsession: Jeans. “Always searching for the perfect pair.”
Accessory you spend the most money on: Rings.
Necessary indulgence: Facials every four weeks.
Moisturizer: Jojoba oil.
Must-have hair product: Angel Rinse conditioner by Kevin Murphy.
Beauty secret: Sweat, smile and drink four litres of water a day.
Piece of art: I love his painting The Potato Eaters and her Columbia 2.(“It’s hanging over my fireplace”).
Favourite Fashion Designer: Stella McCartney. Favourite Musician: David Bowie.
Era of Time that inspires your style: The ’70s.
Favourite Cocktail/Wine: Old Fashioned.
Album on current rotation: High as Hope, Florence and the Machine.
Favourite Flower: Tiger lilies.
Favourite city to visit: Bordeaux, France.
Favourite App: Asana project management.
Favourite place in the whole world: The top of Mt. Finlayson.
What do you read Online for style: Vogue online.
Fave Print magazine: Darling Magazine.
Current favourite coffee table Book: Kindred Home.
Book currently reading: Truth: How the Many Sides to Every Story Shape Our Reality by Hector MacDonald and The Stand by Stephen King.
Favourite book of all time: A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway.
-Story and Photography by Lia Crowe