I have a little bit of a “girl crush” on the lady I got the chance to interview recently. Wendy Gardner is the genius behind Glow Skincare and one of my favorite ladies keeping my skin, well, glowing and vital. Her bespoke potions are nothing short of genius using the highest vibration ingredients to create the holy grail of age-defying potions, lotions and creams.
There are many skincare lines that are effective but Wendy creates real “youth dew” with synergistic products that transform your beauty.
I’m sure you are going to love her too!
Taurus, though I’d been under the wrong impression it was Gemini until last year! I am definitely a home sweet home kind of gal. Home is my castle. And my lab/office area is sacred.. not even my beloved hubby can put anything on the counters or I get all prickly.
Tell me about the journey to Glow Skincare.
Since moving to London in 1998 I’ve been on a journey of discovering and learning about things natural and healing related. London is fantastic for this. I studied Reiki and began an Aromatherapy Diploma in 2003 which really was the beginning. I intended to learn to massage but realised I enjoyed the potions side more. So more studies and extensive collecting… instead of girls stuff I collected vials of fragrant oils. I got married and had a baby who would not sleep. So fast forward several years of blurryness and a move to Devon. When my little one was older and I was less of a sleep deprived zombie, I started collecting again, and making creams. It was finding the part of me that was me that had been lost in the whole motherhood thing. I’d lost my identity as a person and making creams was something that I could do that made me feel whole again. Also very practical as I’d make creams that I loved for my own use. Shop bought creams never satisfied my senses. Also once I knew how to make then, I’d be annoyed at all the shortcuts and cheapskate ingredients. I knew I could do better, way better. I loved the flexibility and also being able to pack in all the bits I wanted into one jar. And it justified my collecting habits… having a cause to use them in. I’d post out surprise parcels to my friends. One of my friends suggested I start selling them and an idea was hatched. My husband bought me the domain name and it just sat there.. I broke my toe a few months later and was destined to a lot of sitting down time so spent the summer setting up a very basic and ugly website..no logo, nothing just a name. The G and W come from my name. Kind of cool. That broken toe gave me the permission to just sit… The universe works in weird ways, that’s for sure.
What drew you to essential oils, herbs, natural skincare?
I’ve always loved flowers though we never had many in our own yard. Trips to my aunt’s garden were just a delight. She let me cut as many as I wanted to make flower arrangements and I’d take every single vase and fill them all. Gardenia and jasmine take me straight back to those quiet and happy hours.
So when a girl in my University Halls of Residence took me shopping at the first natural foods store I’d ever been to, I walked out with a jar of neroli oil. I loved the scent and the sweet optimism it brought. It just resonated and helped me through.
The herbal side got interesting once I met women who were hedgerow witches, gathering and making thighs like rosehip and ginger tonic for winter. I love plants and being in nature so it was a natural progression, especially here in Devon where hedgerows are everywhere. The pace of life her is a lot slower. We lived in very hippy herbal healing kind of town for several years and there were monthly medicine walks. Fascinating. I got an allotment and started m y own medicinal collection. Ugh Echinacea and I never seen to gel. Yarrow, calendula, cornflowers a breeze to grow. I was given a beautiful copper still for my 40th birthday and started learning how to make my own floral waters from my own herbs… all part of alchemy. I’ve been interested in Paracelsus, Bacon etc for many years. All roads lead to Rome. And for me, all roads lead to cream.
What things in life nourish and feed your energy?
Positive happy people and places. Blue sky. Sunshine. Freshly baked cakes and sipping tea from old china. Watching blue tits on the birdfeeder. Stroking rabbits at the agricultural fair. Cuddles. Uncluttered work surfaces. Soft clothes(cashmere, bamboo, silk) Quiet. Trees. Time alone in my office/lab. A good night’s sleep is probably the key to everything.
How does the skincare you use affect you as a person?
I like the softness and then the feeling of lightness, no heavy clogged or suffocating effects. I’m rather sensitive to these things. I also like to know my product isn’t harming animals. When I was in junior school I started a wildlife club in the outside room. Cheetah were on the endangered list as were sable antelope. I’d been to De Wildt several times and longed to do my bit and become a conservationist one day. It’s funny how those childhood dreams never quite go away. In 2005 my husband to be and I walked the Headhunter Trail in Borneo, and we were saddened and angered by the deforestation simply to grow cheap palm oil.
What’s your relationship with your body like?
I’m a lot more accepting than I was in my earlier years. Also more in tune with when my body needs an energy boost than before. It’s about conserving and moderating energy output these days as I have this tendency to get fixated on a favourite topic and run my batteries right down. As a single person, that was no problem as I could retreat to my cave and recharge. That’s just not possible with a child who needs more than average care. I am very strict about what I wear, in terms of fabric. Nothing synthetic comes near me. I keep my heart ticking over with gentle walks and did yoga for some years.
What’s your favorite feeling/emotion to experience?
Joy. In the deeper, lasting Eastern sense of it.
It makes me feel gratitude and love for all the little things of life, the people that surround me, and the opportunities living in a safe country. I’m very sensitive to energetics and joy is what I liek to infuse my products with. I never make when I feel sad, down or unwell as I think that transfers into the finished product. Also I’m not a machine.
The world needs more joy.
Tell me about your morning routine?
I say a prayer of gratitude to the God of my Heart. Bit of a stretch under the covers. Then glug back some water. Blast my face with Drench then get dressed. Make the bed. Read. Set my 2 goals for the workday. Kettle on and unload dishwasher. Herbal or green tea, fruit while watching those cute blue tits, chaffinches, Great tits on the birdfeeder. Get food for my son. (Fortunately my husband has patience of a saint. He negotiates the eating/dressing …) Walk my padawan to school, and rescue any earthworms. (My son is an animal lover too) Get home for Breakfast. (It’s been a turkey, Caesar dressing, lettuce sandwich on gluten-free bread for the past 6 months, a creature of habit) more tea then go into my office/lab and get started.
What about your nighttime routine?
With a demanding padawan this is a stressful time – school pickup, walk home, make food ( i have the attention span of a gnat when it comes to cooking. I love eating great tasting food, But cooking? Meh. So thighs have a habit of being burnt..digressing..) There’s the bath, kitchen tidy, getting school lunch made, occasional homework and currently Star Wars Battlefront is my son’s life. Food, bathing and sleep are not enticing. So part of my role this life time is learning patience … children are so in the present moment. On an ideal night we’ll have a cuddle and I’ll read…and this gets us both off to sleep. By 8pm my eyelids are closing and I like to be in bed., asleep by 9pm. Very early. Early motherhood was total torture. I need my 8-9 hours a night. Always have. My son is a 9 hour max kind of kid. Means I need to get to zz before he awakes, he’s got great lungs from intensive bf.
What’s your favorite pick me up? (this can be food, something you do when you are low in energy, whatever comes to your mind!)
A soak in the bath with whatever book I’m busy with, mug of tea and bottle of water and a gluten-free chocolate cookie.
Watching cartoons (Japanese anime) I have my favourites.My best friend tells me I have a Fairy feeling/magic to me, and I think that childlike energy comes through in the movies I like to watch. I don’t watch TV as such, only recorded programmes that I enjoy. I love watching kids movies. It’s been one of the ups of parenthood, I hadn’t realised how much I missed out on growing up.