In today’s episode of The Whole Circle Podcast we talk to Briony Kennedy from Adorn Cosmetics.

Cosmetics and body care products are a hot topic because people sure are passionate about not only brands they use but what they put on their skin and with very good reason.  With that in mind, today we’re talking to Briony Kennedy who is the founder of Adorn Cosmetics about why she decided to create her own natural organic brand and why it’s so important to know what we are putting on our skin.

Wearing guilt-free cosmetics was a massive drive for Briony to create her own products, because 10 years ago when she first founded Adorn Cosmetics there really wasn’t much on the market in the way of natural and/or organic cosmetics and what did exist wasn’t great in terms of their ingredients.

It was also incredibly important that what she created was not only great for our skin but also didn’t compromise the environment either.

Whilst we understand that products have some sort of environmental footprint, Briony’s goal was to ensure that the environment was as minimally impacted as possible.  This has been achieved by:

  • Having products that don’t have excess packaging
  • Using the least amount of plastic as possible
  • Recyclable paper is used to wrap products instead of bubble wrap
  • Ensuring products are cruelty-free because animals should not suffer for our beauty!
  • Keeping products Australian made
  • Allergen-free
  • Toxin-free

A huge level of importance was also placed on ensuring that the customer can always trust the Adorn range.  Briony wanted to ensure that no matter when a new product may be released customers can be confident that the ingredients are safe because they are clear on what Adorn Cosmetics stand for and trust the brand.


This program was designed to reduce our carbon footprint so that people can refill their cosmetic pots instead of buying new ones which in turn saves manufacturing and is less for landfill.  Even sending the refills to customers uses less packaging.


This is extremely popular because customers can try a sample of a product first before investing in buying the full-sized version.  Approximately 70% of cosmetics that have not been fully used end up in landfill, so this program helps to alleviate that by allowing customers to purchase sample sized pots.


The first ever Adorn products were the Hydration + Skin Primer Day Moisturiser.  Briony wanted to create a product that wasn’t laced with silicone nor did she want it as thick as the ones that were on the market at the time.  So, she created this product for your everyday wearer who wants to balance their skin so that foundation goes on nice and evenly.  The goal was also to create a product that was 2-in-1 so that you didn’t have to keep layering products on ie. Primer and Moisturiser.  With this product it has a built-in moisturiser to hydrate and balance out your skin, priming it for foundation.

Also released early on were the loose mineral foundations which are popular with the refill program, especially given they have built in 20+ natural sun protection in them.

Otherwise, all that was released early on were the blush and brow powders, a few of the lipsticks, lip glosses and chubby pencils.

From there they slowly introduced the cream foundations, the illuminiser and the matte finish powder.

After that it took off to the range it is today.


The ingredients Briony will not put into her products include:

Airless Packaging

The reason for using this is so that they don’t have to use nasty preservatives such as parabens, petrochemicals, sulphates, synthetic fragrances or anything that is used to create longevity of a product of a synthetic nature.

Airless packaging eliminates air which is what causes products to oxidise, grow bacteria or spoil.  From a consumer perspective, airless packaging is great because you get full use of the product without any wastage.


Talc is quite congestive and drying to the skin.  It is also a possible carcinogen which is obviously something to be avoided.

Bismuth Oxychloride

Just like Talc, Bismuth Oxychloride is naturally occurring, but not all that is naturally occurring is good for us.  This one has a high metal content which is commonly found in loose mineral products.  The reason some brands will use it is for the luminescence that it provides to make the product more appealing.  This can be quite aggravating to the skin especially if you suffer from Rosacea or from any redness to the skin.  It also reacts to heat, so you might find that in winter products with this in it will be fine for your skin but then you may get itchy using it in summer.  This is due to the fact that it reacts to heat and sweat on the skin.

Briony suffers from psoriasis so every product has to pass her stringent tests given she has skin issues herself.


Whilst Briony is an advocate for clay as a detoxification product, clay in foundations can be incredibly drying to the skin, so unless you have exceptionally oily skin, clay is best to stay away from in foundations as It will dry your skin out and leave it looking quite cakey.

Artificial Colours

They stay away from these given the nastiness of them and only use natural colours like mica and oxides.


 This can be a tricky one for consumers as they need to be a bit savvy or have trust in the brand that they are using.

Synthetic fragrance used to provide a scent to the product is not something Briony agrees with nor uses.  All of the scents you get from Adorn products are naturally occurring from the ingredients in the product.

If you find products that have an ingredient listed as ‘parfum*’ then this is certified as a natural organic preservative by the INCI Standards.  INCI Standards are systematic names internationally recognised to identify cosmetic ingredients.  This means ‘parfum*’ is not a bad ingredient.

The other thing to note is products marketed as ‘fragrance-free’.  Every product has a fragrance of some sort whether it’s good or bad.  In order to mask the particularly bad smelling products, without adding fragrance so that they can still market it as ‘fragrance-free’, they will add in nasty chemicals to mask the bad smell altogether so that the product doesn’t smell at all.

So, consumers need to be very discerning when they are checking the ingredients on products, if it says ‘fragrance-free’ it’s usually not a good thing, especially if it is a long ingredients list.


The labelling laws from the food industry to the cosmetic industry are very different.  Labelling laws for cosmetics do not require every ingredient in the product to be listed.

To further explain it, if an ingredient is consistently in a certain product then legally it has to be listed on the ingredient panel.  However, if an ingredient falls well below 1% of the total formulation then you are not required to list that ingredient.  This is designed to cover manufacturers where there may be extra ingredients in the product based on the product being produced in a factory where other products are made, and trace ingredients may occur.

If you are applying or consuming a product on a daily basis, then we recommend that you take the time to understand what each ingredient is in that product so that you are fully aware and can make an informed decision.


Skin Care

The Cleanse & Rejuvenate Waffle Weave Facial Cloth is fantastic because you can use it with or without a cleanser, so it’s versatile.  After using it your skin is so soft and smooth, it’s divine!


Briony loves the Peachy Sleep Concealer for the amazing coverage over the dark circles and bags under eyes.  As well as the Loose Mineral Brow Define Powder in Peggy colour because she simply cannot go without it.


Skin Care

Tracey has the Cleanse & Rejuvenate Waffle Weave Facial Cloth which they don’t actually stock on their website but maybe they will now! Haha  She loves it because in the past she has ruined so many face washers from cleaning off her make-up but this cloth just keeps going and going, plus it doesn’t add to landfill because you just keep reusing it over and over again.


Hydrating Cream Mineral Botanical Foundation Stick because it is so easy to apply and is great for all ages and skin types.


Skin Care

Awaken Lemon Myrtle Hand & Body Balm.  She absolutely loves it and how it makes her skin feel.  Not to mention it smells amazing!

Thanks so much to Briony Kennedy from Adorn Cosmetics for sharing all her wisdom with us.  We cannot recommend this brand highly enough.  You guys know how strict we are regarding the products we stock and we absolutely love this range  We’re sure you’ll see Tracey continuing to rave about it over on our Facebook and Instagram pages, so check that out.

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