Lisa Haydon's NAKED Beauty

The model's new handmade, organic skincare line is delicious.

"I put some fresh aloe vera and oils into a mortar and tried to mash them together. All I got for my effort were gross looking little transparent blobs. Then I chucked them into a blender, whizzed it up, and voilà, I had this milky white super smooth soufflé," recounts Australian Indian model and actress Lisa Haydon, one of the most beautiful women in the fashion industry and the owner of an underground brand of organic beauty products.

For three years, Haydon created products on order only for friends and family. She was asked to think about the hobby as a brand for the first time last month when a friend invited her to be part of a pop-up shop at the Pali Village Café in Mumbai.

"It was the first time I gave serious thought to packaging and branding the product," the model says. "NAKED was a name I had in mind for another project, but it suited this perfectly so I went with it." 

"My process is slow because I have to understand every ingredient that goes into a product and make sure it's genuinely organic," she explains. "I tried my hand at making organic soap a little while ago. And I discovered all soaps, organic or otherwise, have an ingredient called lye, which on its own can be quite poisonous. Until I understood that ingredient better, I didn't want to experiment."

That's also the reason why her products have a maximum shelf life of three months.

"I don't add any preservatives to my blends because I haven't found one that is truly organic and natural," she explains. "The salts and oils in my products are natural preservatives, but their effectiveness is short-lived. I try and use natural ingredients that don't spoil easily."

What she's working on now, besides body scrubs and essential oil tinctures, is a face scrub using ground rice.

"The idea just came to me lying in bed one day," she says. "I tried it first with brown rice, but because of the compounds in the husk, it would spoil faster. I switched to polished rice and it worked. It's still a work-in-progress though. I think the particles need to be smaller to make it suitable to be used on the face."

"Maybe I'll tie up with a lab someday, or an ayurvedic doctor, but I'm just going with the flow at this point. It's not a business," she says. "I don't want to expand the line at the risk of losing its homegrown quality."

Products are priced between Rs 600 and Rs 1000

- Jerusha Ratnam Chande