In Oscar Wilde’s novel The Picture of Dorian Gray, he writes: “Behind every exquisite thing that existed, there was something tragic.” This couldn’t be more true in Chanelle Louise’s case. When working as an analyst in London, Chanelle received a call that her long-term on-again, off-again boyfriend was hit by a car. Within hours, she was on a plane home to Australia, leaving her career behind to become his carer for over a year. It was a life changing experience — “a time to reflect, start over and discover”, she says. Then, Chanelle found beauty in the tragedy.
Once a Friday night ritual to share a bottle of red wine, this was no longer possible because he was advised against drinking alcohol by his doctor after the accident. While looking for a non-alcoholic and sugar-free alternative, Chanelle was inspired by her love for rose tea and decided to create something of her own.
After countless experiments and testing — all of which took place in her kitchen with rose powders, rose oil and rose petals strewn across every surface — Chanelle had to overcome doubt and apprehension from those who weren’t convinced that she understood the processes of manufacturing. Another challenge was to ensure that the end product was safe to consume (by going through multiple stages of micro-bacteria testing) yet delicate, fragrant and scrumptious. But eventually, CILK and the Inner Beauty Rose Extract was born.
Today, Chanelle and her partner (now husband!) live in a beach house in Sunshine Coast, Queensland. When she’s not disrupting the industry with her invention, she spends her time decorating the house, watching Netflix, doing yoga, listening to classical music and enjoying life with her man (they recently celebrated their first year wedding anniversary). Chanelle says that what keeps her healthy is “the ability to empower herself and others by creating a beautiful and successful brand. Without that fire, passion and constant challenge, I would feel lost… that is what I’m most passionate about.”
Pretty in pink — hydration never looked so good
The concept of CILK’s Inner Beauty Rose Extract is inspiring. Tell us about your passion for rosewater and how you fell in love with it.
It all began with my love of drinking rose tea. I was enchanted by the rose buds slowly opening in the warm water, and it was this initial experience that sparked something for me. This led to experimenting with cold rose drinks — the smell and taste was exquisite and I began craving them.
The old world romance of rosewater also completely captivated me. It has such a beautiful history.
I have also always used rosewater on my skin too for its hydrating effect. But I could feel [that] it was only sinking into the surface of my skin. I wanted to gain the full benefit of this ancient and powerful healing ingredient from the inside out. This was when my idea evolved to be much more than just a drink but an inner beauty product.
“I wanted to gain the full benefit of this ancient and powerful healing ingredient from the inside out.”
Rosewater and its various forms have long been used in topical beauty products. Why did you want to create a product for consumption?
It was actually when my partner suffered a traumatic brain injury and doctors advised him not to consume alcohol again. We used to love sharing a red wine on a Friday evening together. When we could no longer enjoy that ritual, I began sourcing for an alcohol and soft drink alternative that was premium; had elements of wellness; contained no sugar; had a sensory experience, and would be soothing to the brain and mind. I couldn’t find anything, discovered a gap in the market and began formulating my own concoctions from my love of rose tea.
Once I began researching the health and beauty benefits of rosewater, and consulting with naturopaths, nutritionists and skin specialists, I was blown away by the internal benefits of drinking rosewater. It was such an exciting discovery and natural evolution.
Most rosewaters we find off the shelves contain chemicals or artificial preservatives. How is CILK’s made?
Well, we can’t reveal our exact formula and process! We use certified organic roses, organic hibiscus and organic vanilla, which is part steeped, distilled and cold-pressed extracted.
What is the extraction process of rose from organic roses?
It is a unique technique that preserves the biodynamic energy of the rose plant.
How should the Inner Beauty Rose Extract be consumed?
We are all about simplistic and effortless beauty with our rose drinks so it’s really special just with filtered or mineral water, and sparkling water. What is really beautiful about drinking the extract with sparkling water is that it’s almost like drinking a fine red wine. You swirl the glass around, smell the natural perfume and get notes of vanilla and hibiscus on the palate.
I would recommend adding five to 10 drops to your daily water intake. Some of our customers [add] it in champagne or they make beauty cocktails, which is an interesting way to consume it. Our customers love the concept of taking care of their wellness and skin while having fun!
“I began sourcing for an alternative that was premium; had elements of wellness; contained no sugar; had a sensory experience, and would be soothing to the brain and mind.”
What is CILK’s unique point of difference?
The ethos for my brand lies within an effortless approach of enhancing your natural beauty and taking care of your skin while indulging in a truly beautiful experience of relaxation and luxury. CILK advocates a modern beauty regime by making it simple for women to take care of their skin when they may be time-poor, and turning the daily task of consuming water into a beautiful experience.
Lastly, what is your daily skincare regime?
Despite being a beauty brand founder, I’m not obsessed with the latest contouring craze, seeking out the ultimate face serum, or obtaining an overwhelming cosmetic, skincare and beauty collection. I find myself more inclined to a minimalist lifestyle so my regime is super simple. I use May Lindstrom’s Honey Mud Cleansing Silk and Blue Cocoon Beauty Balm Concentrate, and a morning rose elixir or bedtime beauty sleep drink. These are my signature skincare essentials.
“CILK advocates a modern beauty regime by making it simple for women to take care of their skin when they may be time-poor, and turning the daily task of consuming water into a beautiful experience.”