In Conversation With | Sans [ceuticals]

The French are heartily praised for knowing a thing or two about honing the art of simplicity and effortless sophistication.
New Zealand is heartily praised for its laudable geography and its people for their humble approach to living within their pristine and untouched natural environments. 
Consequently, combining the ethos of these two mindsets leads to an inevitable success, as Sans [ceuticals], the stunning natural beauty range created by kiwi gal Lucy Vincent Marr clearly displays. ‘Sans’ translates from French to say ‘without’, and in the case of the thoughtful and pure products she has curated this time going ‘without’ is no bad thing. Her endeavour to deliver effective and innovative concoctions that exclude the use of cheap and harmful ingredients, means smelling utterly delicious whilst literally wearing and walking in skin that truly speaks a message of considered simplicity and wholesome beauty.

Image: Sans [ceuticals]

If you had to give a summary of yourself and what you do to someone who had never heard of it before, what would you say?

My name is Lucy Vincent, I own Sans [ceuticals], a specialist collection of hair and body products. Our formulations are pure and clean, with each ingredient highly considered. Our active ingredients are dialled up to really high levels to work on cellular health as well as skin and hair structure. Our approach is based around simplicity and effectiveness. We steer clear of fads and go for science that's sound and true. We favour the essential and well crafted as opposed to mass consumption.
What do you love about what you do?

The everyday. I have the greatest team and I love getting up in the morning and going into work.
What were the motivations behind creating your brand and what did your world look like before its conception?

When I was thirteen I was given a book called ‘The Herb Book by Arabella Boxer’ it soon became my bible. It was a 70s-style book on how to grow your own herbs, their nutritional value and medicinal benefits, how to cook and heal with them, and how to make skincare. It is a book that has influenced me profoundly as it is a blend of everything I do today.
Six years ago I was trying to find products that were active, environmental, yet beautifully designed which was a struggle. I had a friend who was a top biotech scientist who was also a devout beauty junkie and after numerous conversations with her I decided to develop my own. I had also been working with a number of great dermatologists both locally and internationally and discovered that there was one key ingredient that was their default or go-to - vitamin A. We delved into the research, which was astounding. What it is able to do on a cellular level was amazing and incredible at repairing UV damage which is great for Antipodeans who are so susceptible. So we started with this as our foundation.
Image: Sans [ceuticals]

What themes, items or spaces do you love to work with most and why?

For me, finding your own centre of gravity comes doing what makes you really happy and grounded – family, cooking and gardening are key for me, so maybe I am most happiest in the kitchen or forgaing around in the garden.
Who or what do you think is the embodiment of simple and thoughtful living?

Nurturing my relationships, first and foremost. Checking in with myself to see that I’m living life as true to myself as I can. Craving material things is something that never gets satiated, so my idea is to appreciate but live quite simply at the same time. I am inspired by an almost acetic approach to living.
Image: Sans [ceuticals]

How do you endeavour to embrace simplicity in your life?

Balancing a career and being a mother is a constantly evolving thing for me. Just when you think you’re on top of it, the whole game changes. But first and foremost, I want to be with my family, they’re the most important thing to me. It’s important that I’m there to pick them up when they finish school and if that means working a few hours after they’ve gone to bed then so be it. I’m trying to get better at not saying yes to everything and to make more considered choices. 
Do you have any daily rituals? What do they mean to you?

I try and avoid checking emails or being on my phone first thing in the morning. Seeing a work email while I’m having breakfast with the kids completely changes the tone of the morning. You have to be really disciplined not to do it. Once at work, I like to heat up a big pot of tea and start on my lists – making a list helps bring a sense of order to what could be a completely chaotic day. Come 3, I scream out the door for school run, then it’s game on at home.
I think rituals are really important, we are about to launch a series interviewing women on the 5 rituals they regularly perform in their life. They don’t have to be grand, candle-lit, Gregorian chanting feats - more of a personal, seemingly insignificant, habitual gesture that provides a sense of calm and space internally. A recharge if you like.

How do you create thoughtful and inspiring spaces to live and work in? What are your essentials?

Some would say my workspace is minimal. I like clean, unfussy, un-noisey spaces, I find I can think clearer in these environments. Having said that, I have strange cardboard animals made by my boys on the wall and a giant branch of Eucalyptus hanging from the roof, so a little warmth is important for me too.
At home, it’s similar, I like simple and uncluttered. I’m not a big fan of objects for objects sake, unless it’s an amazing piece of art. Craving material things is something that never gets satiated, so my idea is to appreciate but live quite simply at the same time. I am inspired by an almost acetic approach to living.

Image: Sans [ceuticals]

What is the best piece of advice you’ve received?
Be curious not defensive. Genuinely trying to understand how something has come to be, and treating every experience as a lesson, gets much better results – both in business and life.
Never be afraid of failure. Push yourself to find out what your potential is and when you feel nervous or insecure, try understand that this is when exciting change is about to take shape and push on through. Seek good advice and listen to it. Always plan and have goals and most of all - be true to yourself. And whatever you do, be passionate. No one ever created anything unique and inspirational from doing something they feel averagely about.
Who or what is your creative muse or iconic visionary?

It’s hard to find one. So many of my girlfriends that juggle fantastic creative careers, are incredible mums and are really warm, generous and supportive. I love them to bits and feel very lucky to have them in my life.
What are you currently:

Listening to: Karen Dalton – In My Own Time
Watching: ‘DMT The spirit Molecule’ documentary
Reading: Literally the same paragraph from The Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell every week. I start it then fall asleep and because I was so tired, have to re-read.
What are you looking forward to?

Summer: Great Barrier Island, horse trekking on Pakiri beach and lots of shared meals with friends and family.
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