Meet the women behind Ara'kai Beauty
After the first month, we sit down with the founder of Ara’kai Beauty, Heydi Vásquez, to hear her thoughts behind opening the first beauty space dedicated to clean beauty in Copenhagen, while creative consultant Barbara Hvidt reflects on why she wanted to be part of the amazing journey to elevate clean beauty in Scandinavia. Find out what their beauty rituals are and how they find balance in their everyday life.
Why did you launch Ara’kai Beauty, Heydi?
Heydi: Ara´kai Beauty was born out of a desire for beauty products that I was unable to find in Denmark. The project started when I discovered the Corpus deodorant on one of my trips to New York. Finding a deodorant that is effective, non-harmful and looks good was a game changer for me. It ignited an urge in me to elevate the clean, natural beauty offering in the city, as the range of products found was limited. I was also missing a clinic with a modern approach not only aesthetically but that also offers result driven facials with advanced techniques in a natural way. My skin needs deep cleansing and the treatments in Denmark were too superficial. On a trip to London, I tried Face Place Signature Treatment. I literally left with a wow sensation, the results are so immediate and I finally felt that someone understood my skin. I had to introduce Face Place to Scandinavia.
What made you want to collaborate with Heydi on Ara’Kai Beauty as a creative consultant?
Barbara: Heydi and I have known each other for years and we bumped into each other earlier this year, started exchanging thoughts about future projects and ideas. Heydi introduced her vision about elevating clean beauty in Denmark and it triggered something in me and I curiously started researching and discovered a fascinating world of creative, aesthetic and mindful products. I have a desire to be part of something meaningful and sustainable, where thoughtful aesthetics, creativity and products with high quality are combined.
What is clean beauty exactly?
Barbara: The core meaning of clean beauty is that it is made without ingredients suspected to harm human health and with respect for the environment. Clean beauty is man-made of clean, safe and non-toxic ingredients that focuses on eliminating as many toxins as possible from our daily products.
Why are you passionate about clean beauty?
Heydi: I believe we need to find ways to be sustainable and learn to become a part of nature instead of apart from nature. Clean beauty is a step into this direction and I have chosen to focus on products that are ethically made and with respect for our bodies as well as the environment.
You have artisanal clean beauty products from around the world. How have you found all these incredible products?
Heydi: I've explored the world through travels (along with internet research) and brought back some of the best clean beauty products. I’ve tried them all prior to the launch in order to try their efficacy to ensure we offer products that are not only aesthetically pleasing but also work.
You both come with a background in fashion, what made you change direction to beauty?
Barbara: Building a business, even a mindful one, doesn't come without its challenges but working with beauty and mindfulness in times when fashion is moving at greater pace and is more perishable than ever, this has been an amazing opportunity to look inward while also creating something that will make others feel better about themselves and their bodies, make them reflect about their state of mind, their life and hopefully improve their quality of life.
Tell us about the treatments you offer in Ara’kai Beauty
Heydi: Since relocating to Denmark I haven’t found a place that would focus on deep cleansing. Most clinics offer more wellness/relaxing focused facials, basically massaging creams onto your clogged pores. Having tried many other types of treatments the globe around, my skin got the best results with Face Place due to the heat dome and extraction technique, which leaves your skin feeling clean, pores detoxified and tightened. The heat dome acts like a sauna for the face, keeping moisture close to the skin while opening the pores, yucca extracts’ alkali properties soften toxins to allow deeper extraction via a suctioning glass tube and manually through a special rolling technique. The galvanic current allows zinc and collagen to penetrate into a deeper layer of the skin.
The Ara’kai Signature Treatment is a compilation of my favourite techniques in one single treatment finishing with Celluma LED therapy, which is the absolute best. This treatment is pure self-indulgence for the skin and senses.
For the treatments, we use Environ products. Their products are based on scientific research and their key ingredients are highly concentrated A and C vitamins as well as antioxidants.
Where do you see Ara’kai Beauty in 10 years?
Heydi: We aim to become the leading clean beauty destination in Scandinavia with the best selection of brands and products. Ara’kai Beauty will be the place to go to find the newest products and brands within clean beauty. New research, technology and methods with the industry are developed regularly and Ara’kai Beauty should reflect this. We have big plans and this is only the beginning, so stay tuned.
What are some of your favourite products at the moment?
Barbara: The perfume Amor Fati by Sigil has an indefinable and mystical scent. It evolves beautifully on your skin throughout the day and adjust to your body scent. The mix of smoky agarwood, fresh bergamot and sweet opponax suits the autumn mood very well.
I love to use the Herbal Infusion Oil Cleanser by Josh Rosebrook as a moisturising cleanser treatment every morning. It has a fresh and soothing feeling and rejuvenates and restores luminosity to your skin. I massage my entire face with the oil and then softly press a damped Ara´kai cleansing cloth over my face, breathe in a few times and then cleanse off.
Lavido Replenishing Facial Serum is amazing, I instantly feel how the skin absorbs it leaving it hydrated and firmer. The smell is soothing and comfy, made with organic pomegranate seed oil, distilled lemon myrtle and cold-pressed tangerine oil. It feels like a little treat when I apply it.
How do you create balance in your life?
Heydi: I have been practicing yoga for over 20 years, so that is my go to space to ground myself. Reading, traveling and friends are great ways for me to find balance on a regular basis. Visually enhancing experiences are quite important too, it both stimulates and lifts me. The right mix of these elements is what creates a great balance.
Barbara: I have taken the time to wind down and do some self-reflection on how I feel inside and how to reach a healthier lifestyle, with less external influences and not giving in to stressful situations. I regularly practice meditation, yoga and running. Finding joy in the little things in life as well as the company of my family and friends give me inner balance and comfort on a daily basis.
What are your daily beauty rituals?
Heydi: I start my day with a glass of room-temperature filtered water, followed by warm lemon water mixed with Curam elixir from Anima Mundi. I wash my face with DAMDAM Nomads Cream Purifying Cleanser followed by DAMDAM Paradisi Mist, then I apply Josh Rosebrook Hydration Boost Concentrate Serum and moisturise with Environ AVIST1. Corpus Santalum deodorant and Bodha Earth perfume oil keep me smelling fresh. I love their warm wooden notes. Lastly, I apply Salt&Stone SPF30 sunscreen. I do this every single day, regardless of season. It is an essential part of my routine and something I will never leave the house without. In the evenings, I take a bath with epsom salts to unwind and detoxify the body. I always finish with applying Costa Brazil Body Oil. A few times a week, I treat myself to a peel or mask. Either Bioactive Rose Gommage from Odacité or Cacao Antioxidant Mask from Josh Rosebrook.