From the world-renowned Cosmetic Valley in France, the Australian founder (whose “soul belongs to France” after spending her early twenties there working in fashion), tells us about her unrivaled dedication to sustainability in an industry that has become one of the worst culprits for producing enormous amounts of plastic packaging contributing to the global plastic pollution crisis.
After years in the making, Obeid is finally seeing her vision come to life, starting with La Fervance’s signature product, a multi-use, 100% natural gold-infused beauty balm, Eclat Extraordinaire. Plus, even as a new brand in the beauty industry, she’s not afraid to call out the brands that are ‘greenwashing’ in their marketing.
How did La Fervance begin?
“La Fervance is the old French word for ‘fervor’ in English and began centuries ago when Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte sent an expedition to the land Down Under or ‘Terre Napoleon’. After three years of intense exploration, coastline tracking, and strategizing, it returned to France with a wealth of information and over 200,000 species of flora and fauna – many of which were intercepted by Josephine at the port of arrival, for their home at Malmaison and many of which flourish to this day in France.
“With my own French-Australian connections, these facts fascinated me and planted an inspirational seed. When destiny led me down the path to creating a high-performance, authentically luxurious, sustainable skincare brand from 100% natural origins, the fusion of French-Australian ingredients in 100% original formulations was a light-bulb moment whilst looking over the rooftops of Paris one August sunset. In its own way, La Fervance continues the legacy of this 1800 expedition.
“In 2016, my husband Jamie and I had relocated our family to France and after 6 weeks in Paris, we settled in a charming bastide in Provence, South of France whilst exploring the luxury skincare space. We agreed that to do prestige beauty to the utmost degree; it had to be ‘Made in France’ and went onto attend every trade show, met the best in the business, and were introduced to the most renowned supply chain partners and cosmetic scientists in France who were excited to work with us on the creation of every aspect of our La Fervance offering. It was literally years in the making, but the results since our ‘against all odds’ global pandemic 2020 launch speak for themselves. The brand screams luxury at every touchpoint and has resonated with the conscious luxury consumer who is discerning, demanding, and super savvy.”
What makes La Fervance unique?
“All of the above! I never set out to create a skincare brand that responded to market trends or industry buzzwords. When I was initially struck by the inspiration in 2015 for what later became La Fervance, it was purely to fill a void in the luxury skincare market for a brand that corresponded to everything I would want to experience in a beauty product.
“My connections with France and Australia, my love of culture, history, and all things authentically beautiful, did the rest. La Fervance was not born out of research groups, market studies, or trend reports.
“Each and every touchpoint has its own ‘raison d’être’. From the ingredient selection, the choice of brand colors, the packaging design, and provenance, to the choice of laboratory and production partners. The passion, perseverance, sacrifice, integrity, and energy invested into the creation of La Fervance is tangible.”
What does 'fusionistique skincare' mean?
“It’s a word I coined from ‘Fusion’ and ‘Futuristique’. The ‘fusion’ of my enchanting birth country of Australia and soul country of France. The fusion of their ingredients, diverse environments, flora, expertise, cultures. The fusion of luxury and natural, prestige and purity. The fusion of different, equally effective rituals into one multi-functional product. Of indulgent, proven active home treatments, TransformActive textures, and sensorial experiences including the olfactive discovery of our custom-made fragrances, each designed to evoke different feelings of wellness… so many areas we fuse.
“La Fervance pays homage to the past and gives a nod to the future. We recognize this vision through the new philosophy of skincare we have created. It’s a signature and a sign of what is to come. We don’t believe it is necessary to have so many products in our beauty cabinets and they also represent a burden on the world’s natural resources, packaging, transportation, and recycling capacities. Fewer products, with higher concentrations of active ingredients in their effective concentrations for targeted outcomes, are part of our La Fervance Fusionistique Skincare model.”
What is the benefit of gold in skincare?
“Well, for starters, which other ingredient in the world can provide a more golden glow than real gold dust?! Ours is pure, food-grade, conflict-free Italian gold dust – only the best! When used in its ‘instant morning glow’ leave-on treatment ritual, it creates the most superb natural shimmer for both men and women. We deliberately use 23K gold with 1K silver, as gold is a very soft metal, hence 24K in skincare is not the best choice, as it will not spread or penetrate as effectively without this percentage of silver.
“Gold also assists in the draining of the lymphatic nodes, so the Éclat Extraordinaire is especially excellent when used in its evening ritual, accompanied by a facial massage with our sodalite stones. Gold helps lift and eliminates impurities from the epidermis and dermis, whilst increasing cell renewal, collagen renewal and promoting skin elasticity.”
Given their early success, we predict that this is just the start of a seismic takeover by this innovative brand shattering claims that sustainability, efficaciousness, and luxury can’t be achieved together.
La Fervance is a brand that focuses on innovation and sustainability taking a cue from ancestors and historical stories, dedicated to exploration and discovery at its core.
“The brand screams luxury at every touchpoint and has resonated with the conscious luxury consumer who is discerning, demanding, and super savvy.”
WAS SUSTAINABILITY ALWAYS IMPORTANT TO YOU?
“I’m so grateful to have been a child of the ‘70s and ‘80s. Growing up, the chance of a nuclear war was the most prevalent threat in my world. Then, as an adult, a corporate professional, and as a young mother, the issues of global warming, pollution, our excessive carbon footprint, and plastic recycling became more urgent. I’m of the “act locally, think globally” mindset and have a real issue with how many pieces of plastic packaging are produced per year for the cosmetics industry alone. With 120 billion units per annum and only 9% recycled, the rest ends up in our oceans or as landfills, so brands that claim to be ‘clean’ and ethical, but which contribute to this through an overly excessive product range or use of plastics, seem contradictory.
“Our philosophy of artisan, multi-functional products, using traceable ingredients and all within an Ecocert COSMOS and Cosmebio certified framework, is at the core of the brand ethos. There is no higher certification model than these. Our French-made glass jars, using recycled glass and hand-crafted presentation coffrets, using papers from the finest Italian paper mills (50% recycled materials and 50% responsible forestation papers) with no cellophane wrapping, are 100% recyclable and Ecocert-validated. We are simply caretakers of this amazing planet. We saw how it flourished when the world was locked down in 2020 so it’s up to us to preserve it for future generations.”
Boasting water-free credentials means that La Fervance’s formulations are free from harmful propylene glycol, micro-beads, harsh chemicals, and microplastics. Plus, these aren’t unsubstantiated claims. La Fervance prides itself on possessing the highest level of cosmetic certification that there is.
A fusion of nature and science in the best way possible, La Fervance collects 100% natural ingredients to nourish skin, and those ingredients and blends are subjected to clinical tests with world renowned cosmetic scientists in France (the most regulated place in the world for cosmetics) in state-of-the-art laboratories to test, both their efficacy, safety and their impact on the planet.
“WE ARE SIMPLY CARETAKERS OF THIS AMAZING PLANET. WE SAW HOW IT FLOURISHED WHEN THE WORLD WAS LOCKED DOWN IN 2020 SO IT’S UP TO US TO PRESERVE IT FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS.”
Eclat Extraordinaire HOW DO YOU ENSURE THAT YOUR CLAIMS ABOUT YOUR PRODUCTS ARE AUTHENTIC?
“The validity of our claims is essential to La Fervance and underpins every decision we make. For me, it’s imperative we provide our community with authentic guarantees around all our claims. This transparency is what sets self-professed clean, ethical, or performance brands apart from those which truly are as they offer independent evaluations.
“Ecocert COSMOS Natural is the highest global recognition for natural beauty. So too is COSMEBIO. Each year La Fervance undergoes a full and thorough audit, as do our laboratories, ingredient, production, and packaging partners. This process is costly, rigorous, and time-consuming, however, the credibility it offers our discerning community is worth the investment.
“Our products performed outstandingly – even better than high-end synthetic-based luxury products in fact. We are immensely proud of these results and particularly as those involved were not aware of the 100% natural origins.”
WHAT DOES 'CLEAN BEAUTY' MEAN TO YOU AND WHY IS IT IMPORTANT FOR YOUR INGREDIENTS TO BE 100% NATURAL?
Achieving a 100% natural composition in an active, perfectly balanced, 100% Made in France formulation was a significant challenge, but we persisted. I wanted to shatter the misconception that ‘natural’ could not be effective and that one needed to use products inclusive of synthetic ingredients to achieve their desired results. It’s simply untrue. Of course, there are many synthetic ingredients that are perfectly safe, however, presenting a product with 100% natural ingredient origins takes the guesswork out of the equation for consumers and makes it simpler when navigating the maze of what is safe and what is not.”
La Fervance encourages its customers to bask in indulgence with regular at-home self-care rituals, and they provide the tools and products to make it special; their signature multi-use beauty balm, Éclat Extraordinaire, can be used as a day cream, night cream, or moisture mask; their blue sodalite crystal facial tool and roller, and their latest product: Gommage Extraordinaire – a sugar ester exfoliating emulsion that gradually changes to oil during massage to reveal a soft, supple, even skin tone.
WHAT ARE YOU EXCITED ABOUT FOR LA FERVANCE?
“The way our story inspires our growing community and how it transforms the beauty rituals of those who use it. This is empowering and I like to empower people. Launching our self-funded, independent beauty brand right before the global pandemic was an intense time, however, the way the brand has diffused globally and the reaction to it over the past 18 months is most exciting.
“The anticipation for our beauty product number two, Gommage Extraordinaire, a multi-ritual exfoliant was so strong, with many clients and customers pre-ordering without even sampling it – purely based on their love of the Eclat Extraordinaire. Establishing our new philosophy or skincare and La Fervance signature is a challenge which I find exciting and which motivates me daily.”
While from the outside it might look like a typical hustle culture story, Obeid’s favorite proverb gives us an insight into her quiet, discerning determination to achieve her goals and succeed despite challenges and doubts.
WHAT DOES A TYPICAL DAY LOOK LIKE FOR YOU?
“Very long and super busy. Like many brand founders, I’m a full-time entrepreneur, full-time mother, wife, friend, family member, woman, so I balance my days which are filled with school drop off/pick up extracurricular activities, managing the house, social lives, and La Fervance.
“My faith is an important part of my life, so making time to pray and reflect is vital to my clear, positive mindset and the ease with which my days' flow and challenges are faced. As I’m constantly dealing with different time zones, when one market is closing, another is waking up and as I like to do everything ‘now’ it means I’m online a lot. [Just like the phrase,] "Never leave for tomorrow, what you can do today," procrastination and lack of attention to detail are the roots of too many problems.
WHAT QUOTE OR LIFE LESSON DO YOU LIVE BY?
Nothing will ever be attempted if all possible objections must first be overcome.” – Samuel Johnson. I recall seeing this when deciding whether to embark on a long overseas trip at the age of 22 for 6 months. I returned three years later. These experiences and the Paris Fashion Institute chapter changed the direction of my life and impacted everything I’ve done since.
“THE PASSION, PERSEVERANCE, SACRIFICE, INTEGRITY, AND ENERGY INVESTED INTO THE CREATION OF LA FERVANCE IS TANGIBLE.”
Committed to purpose and value over trends is why La Fervance has a bright, glistening future ahead of them. Rather than ‘keeping up’, it’s about continuing to innovate, be sustainable, and live up to the high expectations set by Obeid herself and her loyal La Fervance customers. If you want a skincare brand that ticks all the boxes, La Fervance is your gold dust.
Discover La Fervance’s range here.