Interview With Audra James + Exclusive Giveaway

It is with great pleasure that I bring to you today an interview – and an exclusive giveaway, see after the interview – with Aromatherapist and Natural Skin Expert Audra James. Audra has over 15 years of experience and has put her knowledge to clever use, developing her own range of products. Having used her products many times before, I can attest and say they are of true quality.

Read on below to find out more about Audra’s natural range and the meaning behind Bespoke skin care.

audra james


Can you please tell us the story behind your brand?

Hi Vanessa,

First of all thank you for asking me to do this.

It all started 20 years ago when I was working as a corporate trainer for a large media corporation and was asked to create a training course on stress management. I found a book on aromatherapy by the late Madame Micheline Arcier who was a pioneer in using aromatherapy as a legitimate therapy and I was hooked! I loved the fact that essential oils could be used for so many things and then went onto study clinical aromatherapy.

I pretty soon built up a very busy clinic in Sydney, Australia treating stress related conditions and then the demand grew for natural skin solutions at a time when natural skincare wasn’t very mainstream.  Formulating blends for clients on a daily basis really gives you the kind of experience that no book or training course can do. You learn what works, what doesn’t and how to use the right ingredients in the right concentrations to get very effective results.

I’ve formulated products for thousands of clients over the years as well as for other skincare companies. My products are all still made to order which means that they are not sitting on a shelf somewhere being affected by heat and light which can destroy the effectiveness of the active ingredients.

What exactly does Bespoke mean? What does it involve?

Bespoke is really the cornerstone of what a trained aromatherapist does. Because each person is an individual – creating products that suit each individual works incredibly well. Bespoke means formulating a one off product for an individual. This usually starts with a questionnaire or a consultation if the client is able to do that.

From that, information is gathered to create a specific product that works for that person. Our Bespoke service can be used for skincare, stress and women’s health  and there is also a natural Bespoke perfume service for people who may have allergies or who want their own signature perfume. People love the idea of having something that no one else has! It’s also something quite unique as very few therapists are qualified to formulate in this way, so there is obviously quite a demand.

AudraJames

What can clients expect from an appointment with you?

Firstly quite a lengthy consultation as it’s important to determine the reason for the treatment. That allows me to individualise the treatment for each client. For example if a client is having skin problems due to stress I would definitely want to address that in the treatment as it would be pointless not to do so. Each treatment is also Bespoke so it does depend on what the client needs on that day.

Generally most of my treatments are organic facials where I customise products during the treatment once I can see what the problem is. It’s never one size fits all! Facials involve lots of gentle but effective cleansing at a deep level but it’s important not to dry the skin out when doing this. After compressing to lift trapped dirt from pores I would then go on to create a custom blended facial oil and use lots of facial massage in the treatment. Facial massage really helps address a number of skin problems. It stimulates circulation, tones and helps reduce puffiness – as well as relaxing any facial tension.

We tend to hold a lot of tension in the facial muscles, particularly the jaw area so it’s important to work on that. Women in particular also tend to hold a lot of tension in the upper chest area so again, I would spend time massaging that area to free it up. It can be quite amazing as sometimes before you even go near the face, the client starts to feel much more relaxed and this has immediate benefits on the face. I would then create a face mask to suit the clients skin and finish off with cooler compresses once the mask has been removed. I also show clients the correct way to cleanse and look after their skin and offer plenty of lifestyle tips. One thing I never do is then try and sell products at the time of the treatment – I think it’s important to enjoy the treatment and the benefits without feeling you are being pressured to purchase. I then email clients a day or two later with product suggestions.

In your opinion, why do you prefer oils over lotions?

Basically oils are the purest way to deliver essential nutrients to the skin and that helps to give it a glow and radiance – which is the reason why they have become so popular recently. The right plant oils do not make skin oilier – in fact the opposite is true and they are excellent at rebalancing all skin types (even oily skins) and have fabulous anti-ageing benefits. Because they formulated without water – which most creams and lotions are – they don’t need synthetic preservatives so you are essentially getting a very concentrated product that can target specific concerns quickly.

What does your daily beauty regime consist of?

My daily beauty regime starts with a glass of warm water with fresh lemon squeezed into it followed by some meditation (even 10 minutes) before I start my day. I cleanse my skin in the morning using SkinSpa which is a blend of essential oils for compressing the skin – after this I apply a facial oil to my face and massage that in for  1-2 minutes.

I then hit the shower – using a few essential oils in the base to wake me up – at the moment Orange, Spearmint + Sicilian Lime are favourites. After this I apply a body oil – this is something I’ve done for the last 20 years. It gives amazing skin softening benefits – and I always include an essential oil formula that either relaxes me or uplifts me. All of this takes no more than a few minutes and it’s a fabulous way to start the day. I keep my skin hydrated throughout the day by spritzing with Rose Geranium Facial Mist – this can be applied over makeup but if I’m working from home and not seeing clients I do go makeup free.

In the evening I do a double cleanse with Skin Cleansing System and either Skin Cleansing Oil or Skin Cleansing Balm and then apply my Overnight Facial Oil – again massaging that into the skin for a few minutes. The essential oils in this are also relaxing so help me to sleep well. I do give myself a weekly facial which consists of cleansing, compressing, facial massage using a facial oil and a treatment mask. I use the products for this from my Skin Pack. I always love to make time in the evening for a relaxing aromatherapy bath if I can – either using one from the Therapie range or I mix and blend something just for me! My beauty regime has to make me feel good as well as look good.

What are your best selling products?

Definitely the skin care and I would say the Skin Packs – these contain everything you need for a complete natural skin care regime and include directions for using them in the morning and evening as well as for giving yourself a weekly facial which includes my facial massage technique.

Cleansers also sell very well – lots of people have realised that using an oil based creamy cleanser works much better as it doesn’t strip your skin of it’s natural oils. After that anything for stress! Deep Relax Therapie Oil would be our best selling product for that.  The Baby and Pregnancy range  has also become very popular – especially the Newborn Baby Oil and Nipple Balm!

Do you have any beauty/lifestyle tips to share?

Yes, meditation! I started meditating over 20 years ago and the effects are incredible. I always encourage clients to take it up. Sounds like a cliché but beauty really does come from within. You can use numerous products on your skin but if you are stressed, not sleeping well and not eating well – then you wont see the benefits.  I also love juicing as fresh juices do have numerous benefits for the skin and wellbeing. However, I’m probably not particular a fan of juice fasting as such – I always believe that it’s best to do something on a daily basis than something drastic. So adding a daily juice to is  a great way to do that.

As far as beauty tips are concerned – my mantra is always: Complicated products = confused skin – it makes sense really. Years ago women usually just used one product on their skin and we really didn’t see the type of skin problems that exist today. I think stress and lifestyle play a huge part but at the end of the day if skin is reactive it’s the body’s way of telling you to be gentle and get it back into balance. I just can’t agree with doing harsh treatments and using multiple products on skin that is already problematic. Sadly this can often lead to other skin problems such as sensitivity. I’ve had so many clients who tell me over the years that the less they do to the skin, the better it looks.

Unfortunately, we’ve been conditioned into believing there is a magic treatment or product that will cause skin problems to vanish overnight – unfortunately that isn’t the case. It’s almost always a case of making some small dietary changes, incorporating some stress management rituals into your life and choosing products that have an affinity with your skin and I believe natural high quality ingredients that are formulated in the correct amounts give you this. Our bodies always perform much better on fresh natural foods that are not over complicated and skin is exactly the same.

What does your fitness routine consist of?

I’ve been a fan of yoga for over 20 years and it’s something I incorporate daily into my life. Probably inspired by the first yoga class I ever went to and the amazing lady beside me who in her 80s was doing incredible things with her body! I also love walking. I’m not a gym person really – I prefer the fresh air and the fact that it allows me to have time to myself and clear my head. I also love dance, so need to get back to my Zumba sometime soon!

What is your favourite treatment to have done?

I do love a true aroma therapeutic massage with a therapist trained to do that. Sadly many clinics and spas offer a Swedish massage with some pre blended oils which is not the same thing at all. A real aromatherapy massage has incredible relaxation benefits and when combined with custom blended treatment oils for you really helps to re-balance the body and mind and combat stress.

I’m also a fan of acupuncture and certainly if I am feeling run down or need a boost that’s where I would turn. However, I do understand not everyone can have regular treatments so I’m a huge fan of at home spa treatments. In particular aroma therapeutic baths and incorporating essential oils into your daily life so that you can turn everyday routines such as showering into a mini spa treatment . Again, it’s about doing something on a daily basis to look after yourself and give yourself a little bit of ‘me’ time – this is especially important for women as most of us tend to find it difficult to do this. So I always say to clients – if you think you haven’t got time for a daily aromatherapy bath then you definitely need one!

What’s next on the horizon for Audra James Botanicals?

It’s very exciting times – just over 18 months ago I started with one product in my new range – now there are over 40 and this is purely and simply due to client demand.  I now have customers worldwide as well as all over Australia who come back time and time again and re order as they’re so happy with the effect that the products have on their skin as well as the way they make them feel.

I hope to finish a book I’ve been writing (for far too long!) on managing stress and to really develop the link between stress, emotions and skin – both in my treatments and new products. I’ve also just released a new limited Edition Summer Facial Oil which is something I’ll continue to do for each season.

We thank Audra very much for her time. Audra has been most kind to offer to readers a chance to win one of her Bespoke facial oils – valued at $65.00, formulated just for you!

For your chance to win, leave a short comment below describing which of Audra’s treatments (see online) you’d most love to experience and why. Make sure you use a valid email address so we can contact you if you are a lucky winner.

For more information on Audra, visit http://audrajames.com/index.htm

Competition closes the 31stof December 2012 midnight AEST. You must be subscribed to the Beauty and Lace newsletter OR a Facebook fan to enter.

Terms and conditions

– All decisions are final and no correspondence will be entered into.
– Competition is a game of skill. Chance plays no part in determining the winner.
– One entry and 3 bonus entries per person.
– Prize not negotiable, and cannot be exchanged or taken as cash.
– Competition open to Australian residents only
– Entries are only valid if all required fields have been entered. No responsibility accepted for lost, late or misdirected entries.
– All entries become the property of Beauty and Lace. Your details will not be given or sold to any third parties unless required for claiming of the prize.
– We reserve the right to make changes to the prize and competition if required.
– Winners will be notified by email.

58 thoughts on “Interview With Audra James + Exclusive Giveaway

  1. Would love the Signature Treatment Bespoke Face + Body as my neck and shoulders could really use some attention due to the hours spend in front of a computer screen and the facial massage sounds absolutely divine.

  2. Hi 🙂
    I would love to spend time with Audra learning how to cleanse my skin using the oil method. A facial that deep cleans and energises would be wonderful as would getting advice on the best moisturiser for my skin.

  3. I would love the Audra James Custom Blended Skin Pack, with this busy lifestyle it is the perfect way to have a questionnare done and a custom pack designed especially for me. How perfect that would be.

  4. Would love to try the Summer Facial oil am intrigued by an oil designed specifically for the hot summer months. I experience dry, burning skin over summer and overexposure to hot windy conditions. This oil with its unique blend of Camellia (Green Tea), Rosehip Seed, Peach Kernel, Jojoba, Calendula, Vitamin E, Bergamot, Geranium, White Grapefruit seems perfect to soothe and moisturize without leaving the skin too oily and restore the condition of my sun damaged skin. Would love to pamper my skin with a mini massage every morning and evening over summer to retain and keep a healthy summer glow.

  5. I would love her Signature Treatment Bespoke Face + Body. Have spent 2 1/2 intense weeks in Hospital with my oldest daughter, almost lost her. My whole being is very neglected and exhausted. and in great need of rejuvenation & pampering.

  6. i would like to enter on behalf of my hubby. he has quite sensitive skin after 2 days after his stubble has red patches with sensitivity and this causes him a fair bit of embarrassment. after this these areas flake as well. we have been to dermatologist but to no avail.

    thanks

    jo

  7. I am in desperate need of some way to relax and revitalize myself as i am my fathers full time carer and my own health is bad. I am suffering with so much depression there is talk about more medications. Or perhaps a stay in an institute to try and give me some much need ways to relax. I am also watching my sister battling terminal cancer. And that will leave me alone. I am finding life so damn hard. I wish i could find better ways of coping then medications. If i could find a better way of finding ways to feel better i am all for it. Would love her advice .

  8. Ooh, the Signature Treatment Bespoke Face and Body sounds like heaven! A back neck and shoulder massage, followed by a facial… Yes please!

  9. I was intent on entering the competition because I love the sound of all products in the range, especially the Face and Body Elixir with all the nourishing ingredients, or the regenerating Overnight Facial oil which may help my ageing skin. However,on reading several of the above posts I believe there are others more worthy of winning this competition especially during this Christmas period. When my finances are in a better condition in the new year I will definitely be ordering some of these products. By the way, I enjoyed the interview with Vanessa

  10. Who can resist heaven? Not me. I’d love the hour and twenty minutes Bespoke Treatment for my face and body, the opportunity to wallow in bliss: glorious scents teasing away my stress, my skin energised and toned, all puffiness and redness gone. Ahhh.

  11. Fine Line Facial Oil, to help the already established wrinkles become less prominent and hopefully put a slow down on any more joining them in the near future.

  12. Would love to try the Audra James Custom Blended Skin Pack. A bespoke formulation to ease wrinkles, crinkles, stress-lines, sun spots, dryness and itching. Something simple and natural with delicious scents. It all sounds so tempting.

  13. Scrub off the wintery scaly skin and rejuvinate through all over body scrub with Bespoke Therapy to kick start my party season glowing naturally.

  14. The Custom Blended Skin Pack! At 56, I KNOW organic products work best but I still have problems with dry skin in the Winter months. Fix that.. I’d look more forty and naughty than fifty and thrifty 🙂

  15. If lucky … would love to try Audra James Bespoke Therapy as it treats the nervous system and brings the body back to a relaxed state, which would help me dealing with health issued.

    I am a firm believer in Aromatherapy and there is a consultation given which I would love to receive.

    All that I have about Audra James says that they are very natural, healthy, positive, well for you products. And there’s not too many companies around that I have seen that seem to take the individual time with their clients as this one does.

  16. I’d love the bespoke treatment blend and consultation as I’ve never had anybody address my Rosacia concerns before and I really need expert advice.

  17. I’d like to try Signature Treatment Bespoke Face + Body. Ever since I stopped breastfeeding, my body is going through another puberty – acne, red spots on the face. I’m hoping the Bespoke Face treatment can help sooth my skin. I enjoy baby carrying my son but by end of the day, my muscles get really sore. The body treatment will relax my body muscles and make me feel refreshed.

  18. I would love to seek a Consultation and Custom Blended Products as I have combination skin and have used millions of shelf products but never found one I truly love.

  19. Ohhh, the Consultation and Custom Blended Products. I’d love a one-on-one consultation as I always buy what I think I need for my skin. Then it dries out so next time I buy oily skinned products.

  20. I’d love the Bespoke Therapy 1 hour $110 includes 50ml Bespoke Treatment Blend. I have gone through every emotion this year – thinking and feeling, with strength and vulnerability, ruthlessness and compassion. A little pampering would refresh, relax and rejuvenate me for 2013!

  21. How perfect the Bespoke Therapy (with Bespoke Treatment Blend) is for me. “Relax and restore energy” – they’re magic words to a working Mum.

  22. I have acne scars and I still get pimples, I think stress has a lot to do with it although I do have oly skin, A Skin Pack as well as stress relief could be the answer for me

  23. I would love the Audra James Custom Blended Skin Pack as Iam going through a rough menopause as well as MS/Hashimotos & my skin can look terrible at times. I do however adore oils I believe oils are the answer for true nurturing of the skin

  24. Unfortunately, not living in the same state as Audra James limits the treatment options.

    However, witht he convenience of postage, I would chose, “Audra James Custom Blended Skin Pack,” which can be specifically formulated for my skin type.

  25. The Signature Treatment Bespoke Face + Body. I’ve had an incredibly stressful year physically & mentally, trying to recover from a debilitating back injury from a car accident – this sort of treatment would help me enjoy my body again instead of struggling with what is happening post accident

  26. Facial – “it helps relax facial tension” (jaw) – that is me , I hold tension in my jaw and when I concentrate on trying not to , I am then frowning because I can’t relax my jaw- such a nuisance

  27. The Overnight Facial Oil would be a luxurious natural treat for me. Bringing some simple night time pampering and sweet dreams.
    Sadly I’m out of range for an in house beauty treatment.

  28. I cannot wait to try the Signature Treatment Bespoke Face + Body, just thinking about it gets me excited! My dehydrated skin definitely needs some treatment after some harsh winter season.

  29. This Deep cleansing treatment intrigues me, I CAN NOT find anything that deeply cleanses my pores properly and I have tried Lots of products!

    Superfine White French Clay Treatment Mask ($28.00
    Skin softening and purifying. This treatment mask can be used to help cleanse skin deeply without drying skin out. It also has a gentle exfoliating effect.
    40 gms)

    ***WOW I absolutely LOVE the thought of this perfume:

    Bespoke Perfume$65.00
    (Bespoke perfumes are created using natural and organic essential oils infused in organic jojoba oil. Each perfume is formulated individually and takes approx 14 days to create. Having a Bespoke Perfume is a luxurious and personal experience and a way to express your individuality. Bespoke Perfumes are often ordered as a gift to mark a special occasion such as a wedding, birthday or anniversary. They are suitable for both men and women. They are packaged in a glass rollerball bottle which is a perfect size for work or travel and can easily fit into a handbag. They are also suitable for people who find they cannot tolerate synthetic fragrances.

    Once ordered, the process of creating a Bespoke Perfume begins with a questionnaire emailed out. This is filled in by the recipient or the person ordering the perfume. This allows a specific perfume to be formulated that matches the mood, personality and preference of the recipient.
    10mls
    An EDT Spray formula is now also available in a 30ml size. )

    *** Audra – James Products look wonderful ♥

  30. The Bespoke Therapy 1 hour treatment with a 50ml Bespoke Treatment Blend to take home sounds perfect! My nickname is Stresshopper because I am always stressed, nervy and overworked! With 5 kids and a menagerie of pets it’s hard to relax. The treatment using acupressure, aromatherapy and shiatsu would be the perfect kick start to unwind my frazzled nerves, and being able to take home an oil blend makes the experience last so much longer and continues all their good work 🙂

  31. I’d love to experience the Audra James Custom Blended Skin Pack because time is scarce and I need to have a treatment that I can perform on myself at my convenience. I can rest assured Audra James’ recommended custom blend and advice will work best for my skin type.

  32. The Audra treatment I’d love to experience is the Signature Treatment Bespoke Face & Body. Ive never had a facial or a massage! My neck can feel the love just reading about it.I’d also love to have the facial,reducing puffiness & bringing back a natural glow sounds fabulous

  33. After a fairly stressful festive period the Signature Treatement Bespoke Face & Body would be a great way to start 2013. Like many people I spend too much time at the computre and hold stress in my neck & shoulders. As regard the facial the christmas excesses combined with the Queensland summer are certainly taking their toll so this would be terrific.

  34. Audra James Custom Blended Skin Pack – a special treat, solely for me, my skin would rejoice, and the result would be great to see.

  35. I would love a bespoke treatment to help with chronic pain,i have had many operations on my leg and none have really fixed it ,but if I could find a natural therapy that works I would be truly grateful and would love to have a deep and calming sleep at night.I have recently strated oil cleansing and can say I love it,i make my own blend and my skin has never looked better and Meditation is wonderful I try to do i daily.

  36. Hi there – thanks for the great article! I have been told by my qualified dermatologist that oils are not good for your skin, as it prompts the skin to stop producing its own moisture – thinking it’s getting it from other sources. Then, around menopause when you really need the skin to be producing its own moisture, it has forgotten how to do this. What are your thoughts on this?

    Cheers,
    Rebecca

    1. Hi Rebecca, your dermatologist may have been referring to mineral oil which can clog pores and dry skin out but mineral oil is not used in natural skincare for that reason. Most moisturisers on the market are a combination of fats (oils), water, emulsifiers and other ingredients so you are probably already using oils on your skin. Sebum production does slow down as you get older, but this is caused by oestrogen decline which is why I encourage my clients going through menopause (I’m one of them!) to nourish skin inside and out with foods and skin care that include plenty of essential fatty acids. Hope this helps,
      Kind regards
      Audra James

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