If you haven’t experienced the pure, plant-based power of Go-To skincare, you should. Editor Trudi Brewer catches up with the brand’s creator, former beauty director and author Zoë Foster Blake.
Zoë Foster Blake and her favourtie beauty buys from the GO-TO skincare line, Nars and IT Cosmetics
I’ve always had a girl crush on Zoë Foster Blake, not only for her career success (she’s written eight books, including beauty bible Amazinger Face) but also because she appears to sail effortlessly through life, juggling motherhood and a successful business, while having what looks like loads of fun along the way. That business is Go-To, the skincare brand she launched after years of reviewing products as a beauty director on the glossies in her native Australia. She wanted to create a skincare range that would be simple, effective and a joy to use. Foster Blake is frank and funny and her brand is similarly down to earth and real, and definitely doesn’t take itself too seriously. She doesn’t rely on faux-science claims about what makes Go-To (and men’s range Bro-To) so special – this is skincare “without the confusion and bullshit”.
She’s also super clever. I was one of the lucky NZ beauty editors to receive her PR release when she launched her plant-based beauty brand back in 2014. It was perfect. Why, I hear you ask? Because it was brief but contained all the information I needed, as well as the new products and a $5 note so I could grab a cup of coffee, put my feet up and discover her beautiful brand. I was impressed and have been keeping tabs on her ever since. Go-To is now available online at Mecca. Here, Foster Blake gives a characteristically light-hearted update on the Go-To success story and reveals what’s in store for the brand.
Q & A
For anyone who doesn't already know Go-To, how would you describe it in 10 words?
Uncomplicated. Effective. Clean. Bullshit-free. Worry-free. Simple. Nice-smelling. Cruelty-free. Non-irritating, and fun!
As a former beauty editor, you must have seen it all when it comes to formulations. How did that help you create the Go-To products?
Having tried loads of products, I knew which ingredients actually worked (skincare can be very simple and work very well if the ingredients actually do something!) and I knew what the consumer wanted. I also knew what I wanted – a tight edit of skincare products that actually did something, that were uncomplicated and a delight to use.
What about ingredients, anything on your no-go list?
Go-To products are ‘clean’ meaning they are free of chemical irritants, so you won’t find any silicones, chemical UV filters, parabens, PEGs, sulfates (SLS/SLES), GMOs, mineral oils, petrolatum or synthetic colours in our products. We are also certified cruelty-free.
What are your favourite ingredients to use?
Australian natives, such as Kakadu plum, finger lime extract, and Tasmanian pepper extract. Some non-native superstars we love are buriti oil (buriti is a fruit found in the Amazon) and the astonishing amla berry (Indian gooseberry), which is bursting with vitamin C. Basically if it’s a powerful antioxidant or super anti-inflammatory, I’m interested.
Sunscreen is a tricky product to make, how did you get Go-To Zincredible to be so sheer, lightweight, and kind to the skin?
Working with SPF has absolutely been the biggest challenge of my career. We spent the first three years trying to make a completely clean daily moisturiser with zinc oxide SPF30 but could not get it right and I knew that asking women to wear something that felt and looked awful was a bad idea! So, I changed tack. I decided to make two products: an SPF15 for everyday use, and a high-protection product (coming soon) for extended UV exposure. We also made a tinted version, because who doesn’t want that, right?
What’s the top-seller?
Easy! Face Hero is our cult product and the jewel in our crown. It’s an all-in-one face oil that nourishes, protects, soothes, revitalises and brightens the skin. Loaded with essential fatty acids, vitamins and antioxidants, it is good for every skin type and age, and can help any skin issue.
The top sellers in the GO-TO skincare collection
As a frequent flyer, what are your travel beauty tips?
I always use Go-To Lips! and our Transformazing sheet mask to completely fix my dry, sad, dehydrated post-flight face.
You’re a busy mum-of-two, care to share your beauty routine with all the other exhausted mums out there?
I use a glowy tinted moisturiser (there’s a reason I made Zincredible Tinted so dewy and nourishing), mascara, creamy brightening concealer, and a bright lip colour – I love lip crayons.
You have skincare covered, any plans to launch a Go-To cosmetics range?
No plans for makeup right now – other brands are already doing such a great job of it. While we will create a tinted something here and there, makeup isn’t really our focus.
What are your favourite cosmetics brands and products?
IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Undereye Illumination is a high-coverage concealer, but it’s dewy-as. It’s a clever fix for pigmentation and dark circles and other bullshit trying to make me look tired and aged. I’m also a long-time fan of NARS Sheer Glow Foundation, because it’s luminous, medium-coverage and brilliant.
What’s next for Go-To? Any new products in the pipeline?
So many! But since we create completely clean products (devoid of synthetics and irritants and all the stuff that makes skin-care uniform and obedient) our new product development takes ages. Also, I’m an unapologetic perfectionist; that always adds on a year or two! Anyway, we have a huge year ahead. SPF is a monster focus, but we are also launching an entirely new sub-brand – and a range of bushwalking socks. Joking – or am I?
Zoë Foster Blake at the recent Mecca launch (image GOTOSKINCARE Instagram), and some of the heroes in the Go-To range