By Janine Phillipson, Optima shoot stylist and producer
Saturday June 15 2019
This isn’t your usual advertising shoot for a ground breaking, new wellness brand - there isn’t a crew of models in top-to-toe active wear or a kale leaf in sight. Instead, there are 10 ambassadors – "real" people who have used Optima Nutricosmetics for the last two months, loved their results and are going to star as the faces for this exciting new food elixir for gut heath and radiant skin.
Cate and Karissa
So what brought us all here, to this beautiful location in the Byron Hinterland? Co-founders Cate Lilja and Karissa Mather made a conscious choice to use non-models for their shoot, showcasing us all (yes I’m in it too, not just behind the scenes where I’d rather stay) with our new-found glowing skin and more. What we’ve all come to love is the total honesty and transparency around everything Cate and Karissa work on. No smoke and mirrors here – they aren’t paying influencers or models to talk up their product. They don’t need to.
Cate and Karissa set up the ambassador program because they wanted honest feedback from people who have used their new product. "Having worked on the formula for two years, using the absolute best, proven, potent and sustainable ingredients, we wanted to put it to the test for two months. said Karissa. "We were 100 per cent thrilled with the outcome and the variety of success each individual had."
Marty is one of those individuals: "The Optima experience is a complete 360 for me," said the pleased ambassador, whose rare skin condition and autoimmune disease Morphea, has improved so dramatically, she is sure by this summer, her skin will be completely healed. She’s been trying to remedy this for decades via doctors and derms with no success, and within just four weeks on Optima, saw vast, life changing improvements.
Marty’s Before and After
"I felt extremely flattered to be selected to be included in the ambassador program and also the shoot", ambassador Georgie told me. "To me, using people of different ages, genders and personalities for the ambassador program and then for the photoshoot was very unique and made so much sense. Why not use people that are equally as passionate about the brand and product as the two founders?"
Georgie’s Before and Afters
The shoot had such a great vibe – Karissa and Cate’s warmth, laughs and instant friendliness influenced us all.
Marty said what we all felt – "our 24 hour photo shoot trip was filled with more laughs than I think I’ve ever experienced within such a short amount of time and with people I’d never met before. We really did have the best time being thrown together in what could have been an intimidating situation, but we all came out laughing".
In makeup, and after working on ten faces (eight women and two men), makeup artist Pollyanna Clarkson has noticed something universal. "Everyone has very glowing skin – it’s like the cellular turnover has been sped up and the moisture is held in the skin – it looks so healthy", she says. "There’s a diverse age group and everyone still has smoother skin than usual – I haven’t had to exfoliate skin to prep it at all. No flakiness or patchiness. It’s the best product I’ve seen in a long time. I’m impressed and I’m not easily impressed". She was impressed enough to immediately place an order for two products.
Pollyanna working with Pip
Clare Moriarty, our hairdresser also had awesome feedback that fit with our consumer trials. "The overall appearance of everyone’s hair was silky and shiny. I noticed that everyone had a super healthy scalp - no one had dry patches or oil build up, which I’d usually notice, especially amongst ten people. Some of the women had noticed their ‘baby hairs’ had grown out more quickly than usual".
Amazing to hear totally unprompted positive feedback and results from such experienced professionals, who didn’t know what the product was or what it does. "I guess what surprised us all though was just how effective Optima is", ambassador Kylie told me. "That became apparent when the ambassadors gathered for the photo shoot. We were a group of ordinary people who’d experienced a range of extraordinary results".
It’s a wrap – we actually finish early! The schedule runs smoothly, everyone’s had a fun and chilled day hanging out at the house, playing with the resident dog Dusty and Cate’s dog Moggy, plus Karissa’s sister and cute nephew dropped by to check things out.
Sarah, Cate, Janine, Jerome, Emma, Karissa, Little Liam, Marty, Kylie and
doggy, Moggy (most of our ambassadors...)
It’s hugs and farewells all round for a great day with a fab group of people. Those of us from Melbourne and Sydney head back to the airport in the super glam people mover, driven by Karissa - at least we don’t need a tractor to haul us out of the mud ‘puddle’ like ambassador Amanda’s taxi.
Karissa, Emma, Kylie, Marty, Janine, Jerome
The Crew – Clare, Pollyanna, Amelia, Janine, Lou
Photo shoot fueled by:
@thebreadsocial (co-located @thefarmatbyronbay)
@mindfulfoods (granola and snacks)
@coyo_organic (not local but good!)
Breakfast – Jerome enjoying the healthy local fare
Coffee Run! (Thanks Craig, Cate’s partner, for driving us all to the shoot!)
Giftbags – via @thebyroncoop
Stunning location and home – thank you Matt & Ghita
Special thanks to Moggy & Dusty, and...
To my incredible sister (Tara) and Liam, my adorable nephew, for traveling
down for the day to support us.