Laila Sanderson, a former makeup artist, created subscription service, Vertue Box, for the perfect combination of health and beauty products. Vertue Box’s themed bi-monthly boxes have a range of products, showcasing award-winning and independent brands. Not only does Vertue Box offer products that are green, natural and cruelty-free, they donate 10% of profits to environmental and health-based charities. The Vertue Box is part of the Real Beauty Manifesto, has been featured in Glamour and Natural Health magazine, and received a Sublime 2016 Good Brand Award.
We love your motto, ‘Live green. Live good.’ – what made you decide to switch to green beauty?
I have always liked natural beauty products and eating healthily but didn’t take it all that seriously until I was diagnosed with Coeliac disease. Reading about how chemicals and synthetic ingredients in food and cosmetics are making us all more vulnerable to a range of diseases and illnesses was a real wake-up call. This made me look closer at what I was feeding my body as well as putting on it. I decided to go all natural and cruelty-free as I feel it’s better for not only our skin and health but also the environment and animals.
How does the Vertue Box work?
Every 2 months, we send subscribers a range of products including superfoods, health supplements and beauty products from award-winning and upcoming brands. Delivery is free in the UK and we do our best to tailor the box to each subscriber’s needs.
Why did you decide to sell subscription boxes, and what makes the Vertue Box unique?
I suppose I decided to sell boxes specifically as I like the curation aspect – selecting products based on a theme, making sure they compliment each other and delivering it all in one package. To be honest I get a bit bored with using the same products and like to try new things and this is what subscription boxes are about – discovering and trying new brands and products.
Vertue is different as we focus more on holistic beauty. Beauty starts from the inside and health and nutrition play a part in how we feel and therefore look. We also believe in enhancing your own natural beauty so you won’t find any fake eyelashes, fake tan or other product to make you look like someone else!
What criteria do you use when choosing suppliers?
All our brand partners are rigorously tested and chosen based on their values and ethics. Our criteria include being cruelty-free, natural, certified organic or wild-crafted, sustainably and ethically sourced, eco-friendly and charitable. We also avoid all known toxins and synthetic ingredients.
We love your focus on holistic beauty, since we believe that relaxation and self care are important for looking and feeling good – what rituals do you have to help you relax?
I love to have a long shower and to deep condition my hair, but with young kids, that’s a challenge! So anytime I have the evening to myself I really enjoy it and just take my time. I love to read a book or magazine on the sofa whilst sipping a cup of herbal tea – that is bliss for me!
Vertue Box is less than a year old, and already has a shop and has been featured on Not On The High Street – what plans do you have for Vertue Box in the future?
There’s lots of things I would love to do – collaborations, limited edition boxes etc. It would be great to expand and grow, so keep an eye out for future developments.
What are some of your favourite products featured in the Vertue Box?
I’m really into hair and makeup products so some of my favourites have been the Green People Quinoa and Artichoke Conditioner, Alchemy Oils Amla Hair Remedy Oil, Au Naturale Eyeshadows and Ere Perez Mascara. Health-wise I really like Innermost protein blends and Kiki Health MSM Powder.
We believe in tailoring our hair oils to fit our customers’ needs and emotions – how do you fit your products to customers?
When you subscribe, there is a beauty profile that asks about your skin and hair type, what fragrance type you prefer and what colours suit you best. There’s also the option to choose all vegan products or mention an allergy. So every box is unique to its subscriber.
We think that hair care is a vital part of looking good- what is the most important part of your beauty routine?
I agree! I like to look after my hair so every week I do a deep condition and every 4 weeks a protein treatment with avocado, egg, aloe vera and Alchemy Oils Amla Hair Remedy Oil. Also the basics such as trimming regularly and avoiding too much heat and manipulation. When your hair is healthy it looks better and you feel a lot more confident so it’s definitely an important step.