“For so long, Sydneysiders had very little choice in the way of organic or natural products,” says facialist and naturopath Fay Halkitis of her new treatment-slash-retail space in the buzzy enclave of Surry Hills, Sydney. “There was just no other place dedicated to a naturopathic approach to beauty where customers could come and have a herbal tea, get some personalized advice and feel the product on their skin.”
Located in a light-filled Victorian terrace house and decorated with vintage apothecary cases and kilim rugs, Luna Beauty and Apothecary has become the go-to spot for plant-based beauty products sourced from around the globe such as EIR NYC, Twelve Beauty from England and Kypris from Arizona as well as native brands like Wildcrafted Organics, Soapwalla and Jacqueline Evans.
“Instead of buying into marketing hype and excessive packaging, I have opted for products that are packed with naturally occurring active ingredients and will work hard for you,” says Halkitis. “There are ‘cult’ creams out there for hundreds of dollars formulated with petrochemicals so I believe education is also part of the process.”
When it comes to treatments, Halkitis (who spent five years working as a facialist with cult Aussie beauty brand Aesop followed by a stint in London’s leading organic skincare boutique Content) takes a holistic approach looking at both intrinsic and extrinsic factors that could be contributing to her client’s skin issues before crafting her bespoke facials.
“I have done away with a traditional treatment menu based on skin types or specific protocols,” she says. “I have a loose guideline of steps I like to include in each treatment but the rest is adjusted according to the client.”
So if you are lucky enough to snag a spot on her custom made, chemical-free treatment bed crafted from native wood and topped with an organic Australian wool mattress, what can you expect? Fluid banishing lymphatic drainage, targeted aromatherapy, gentle enzyme exfoliation, personalized masks and tension-melting massage that result not only in hydrated, perfectly balanced skin but also a glow that will stay with you for days.
What criteria do your products have to meet?
Company ethos is very important. Quality ingredients that have been responsibly sourced and are high performance with a feeling of luxury, meaning the product should invoke a sense of ritual while simultaneously delivering results and long term benefits. Thoughtful packaging, both environmentally and aesthetically, is also a factor.
What is your latest discovery?
Nuori from Denmark produce beautiful products, but only every three months. This ensures freshness. I like brands that are thinking outside of the box.
What is the most important piece of advice you give people about their skin?
Be gentle with your skin. It is a functioning organ.
What is your skincare routine?
It changes all the time depending on what I think my skin needs that day or that season, but right now in the morning I moisturize with Josh Rosebrook’s Nutrient Day Cream SPF30. In the evening I cleanse with Twelve Purifying Cream Cleanser, mist with Wildcrafted Organics Wild Rose Mist and moisturize top-to-toe with The Balm by Nucifera. Once a week I use Josh Rosebrook’s Active Enzyme Exfoliant and Cacao Antioxidant Mask to give my skin a boost.
What is your beauty philosophy?
Wellness and beauty is a two-way street.