We sat down with the mastermind behind the UK beauty brand Soap & Glory, Marcia Kilgore, while she was visiting Toronto. Soap & Glory, the skincare and cosmetics brand known for its sassy packaging, has crossed the Atlantic and is now available here in Canada, exclusively at Shoppers Drug Mart. If you haven’t heard of Kilgore, you’ve definitely heard of her brands. She also founded Bliss Spas and the coveted fitness shoes, FitFlop. A small-town Saskatchewan girl at heart, we love that Kilgore has decided to bring her latest brand back home. With two decades of experience in skincare, she is the perfect person to share beauty secrets with.
29: Soap & Glory is very successful in the UK. What are your hopes for Canada?
MK: I think British humour and Canadian humour is very similar. Canadian people are friendly and fun and not pretentious. [Soap & Glory] is serious bang for your buck, but not in a pretentious way. British people can appear to be a little bit stuffy, but when you see British humour you see that they’re actually just making fun of it all the time. I think it’s good for the Canadian market because we get to share that sense of humour.
29: What is the creative process for your products?
MK: I always make products for myself. I ask, ˜what do I want?’ My motto when I’m creating products is if I wouldn’t use it or I wouldn’t buy it, I’m not going to sell it. Anything from a body butter to a shower gel, we think about what’s in it, what makes it any different [than] anything else. Does it smell absolutely incredible? So much that you just want to keep smelling yourself all day long?
29: How do you come up with the cheeky product names?
Usually walking down the street! I have come up with quite a few in the shower or you’re reading something and you think ˜if I just swap that word out, for this word.’ Sometimes we have to do these very intensive naming sessions. Every Christmas for instance, in the UK we usually do about 15 different gift packs. Which means every year¦we need to come up with 15 names that are somehow related to these products and it is difficult to come up with new ones. And I will admit, I have reused, I have recycled. How else do you describe hand cream? Come up with a hand cream name, I dare you!
I’m glad we have the odd racy product, like Sexy Mother Pucker ($15, 7ml) or Glow Job ($25, 75ml), because at least we get noticed. It took a lot of post-its!
29: What products should our readers, who are typically in their 20s or 30s, be using?
It is all about prevention! People always think it’s not going to happen to me, I look perfect now; I will never look like that. How many 50-year-olds do you see walking around that you want to look like, instead of how I look right now? None. Right? So, guess what, it is going to happen to you if you’re not careful. It is really about prevention; staying out of the sun, that’s the most important thing because the sun gives you the DNA damage and there is no way out of that once you’ve ruined your skin by tanning. Self tanners, like S&G’s Glow Job, a beautiful everyday bronzer, it gives you a little bit of colour, you can dust it on, to look a little browner and there’s no reason to go in the sun. If you like your legs to be to be tanned, go ahead! I always say cellulite looks better in brown!
29: What is your best skincare secret?
MK: The most important thing you can do every day to make sure you have skin that kind of glows is reducing transepidermal waterloss (TWEL). You have water underneath your skin¦ Think of it this way; when you go to the lake and it’s really sunny, it’s so bright, because light bounces off water and back. So when you want luminous looking skin, you have to have water in your skin so light can bounce off. If you wash your face too much, or you exfoliate it too much, or let it dry out, you won’t have as much water remaining in. It’s sort of like this protective layer of oils that are natural to your face that hold your water into your skin. If you have acne, or you tend to be much oilier, people who have oily skin look younger longer, because the water is in there longer.
29: What S&G products do you use?
MK: I can’t do without Soap & Glory’s Make Yourself Youthful ($35, 50ml). It’s more of a serum, but it’s quite moisturizing. And it’s got peptides in it so you’re regenerating. It also exfoliates you a little bit every day and works on your collagen. If you have any uneven pigmentation, the ingredients in there help to stimulate the oxygen in your face, so your face looks a little bit more ˜enthusiastic’. I’m always testing products¦I love them all it’s hard to choose. When we launch them I always say to the team, would you buy this? You get lab samples, you usually get 10 and you hand them out and everybody has their sheet they have to fill out. And you know when you take a lab sample home and you don’t want to bring it back, you know it’s a great product. I’d rather make sure we’re selling something great. It’s like a bad meal at a restaurant, if you get a bad meal you aren’t going back. Apparently, happy people tell three people, unhappy people tell 20. So you have to do six times as much work at being good for every mistake you make.