Originally posted on Polka Dot Bride on November 19, 2008


Today’s What Would They Know interview is with the lovely Catherine De Groot. Catherine, along with her sister Sarah (pictured above) founded New Zealand natural skincare company Trilogy in 2002. Trilogy produces gorgeous skincare that actually works and it’s homegrown!


How did you start out? What inspired you to create the products?

Trilogy was founded my sister, Sarah Gibbs, and I in 2002 to combine our commitment to natural skincare with our passion for the environment. Our aim in founding Trilogy was to create exquisite natural skincare products with maximum effect on your skin and minimum effect on our environment.

While the business is fundamentally based on the performance of its products, Trilogy has a sustainable ethical business philosophy and we are committed to triple-bottom-line business practices. We are one of only two Carbon Neutral skincare brands in Australasia, we are committed to sourcing fair trade ingredients where possible and we produce recyclable packaging from sustainable resources.

We had followed quite different career paths before coming together to establish Trilogy. We both grew up in Australia and New Zealand but Sarah had worked in corporate finance in Hong Kong, South Africa and London before returning to New Zealand to run her own manufacturing company. Prior to setting up Trilogy I was working as a food, beauty and interiors journalist and the owner of two successful retail ventures in New Zealand.

How did you decide on your ingredients?

Trilogy’s philosophy for healthy skin is designed around the triad of simplicity, purity and vitality. Each Trilogy product contains a simple blend of 100% pure botanical extracts, in unique formulations, which restore the natural vitality and radiance of your skin and hair by working in perfect harmony with them.

Rosehip Oil inspired us to create our first range of naturally active products. Sarah had fallen in love with this remarkable ingredient when she was processing it in her factory. Knowing Rosehip Oil had many proven skin benefits, Sarah gave me a bottle in the hope it would ease my eczema. The oil worked beautifully and we began to see the potential for including Rosehip Oil and other natural actives in a line of modern, fuss-free and highly efficacious skin care.


Trilogy’s Rosehip Oil is certified organic, clinically proven, fully sustainable and remains a key ingredient across our expanded product range today.

Last year we conducted clinical trials on our Certified Organic Rosehip Oil and further confirmed the effectiveness of this remarkable oil, which is now proven to improve skin moisture content and decrease the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Our products contain:
Pure essential oils and plant extracts in place of artificial colours and fragrances.
Natural plant oils in place of non-sustainable, petro chemically derived bases and fillers such as mineral oils, petrolatum and petroleum.

Our products are free from: Parabens, mineral oils, SLS and harsh surfactants, artificial colours and fragrances, synthetic fillers and animal derived ingredients (except honey and beeswax).

How did you market your product?

Trilogy is an Australasian brand and was developed from the outset with international markets in mind.
Our aim was to create a natural skincare brand that was contemporary, chic and inclusive. This is reflected in our packaging and our marketing. Trilogy is about attitude not age or culture. We are an inclusive brand and our broad demographic is testament to Trilogy’s emotional connection to what people want.

In the six years Trilogy has been established, we have built the company from boutique local operation to a recognised and admired international brand. Trilogy is sold in over 2,000 stores throughout Australasia and through retail channels in Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, the United Kingdom, the USA and Canada.

How did you decide on your packaging?

We decided to create packaging that reflected our brand and which differentiated Trilogy from the majority of natural skincare ranges that were available at the time of our launch. Our packaging is contemporary, chic, beautiful and has attitude.

What are the steps in creating the product?

The process for each Trilogy product differs based on the ingredients and formulation.
For a product like the Certified Organic Rosehip Oil the entire process is certified organic by Bio Gro New Zealand; from the rosehips themselves to the production and bottling processes we use.
The Rosehips are sun dried and the red flesh is separated from the seed (most of the flesh is sold for rosehip tea). Seed and some flesh is then processed to remove oil using solvent free extraction processes with the end result 100% pure organic rosehip oil.


The Marula oil found in Everything Balm is also certified organic and sourced from a fair trade community where the Marula Kernels are picked, sun-dried, de-husked and then cold pressed. The product is then sent for technical analysis before the oil is extracted. Again the entire process is certified organic from harvest through to extraction.

What is the favourite product amongst your customers?

Certified Organic Rosehip Oil is not only Trilogy’s hero ingredient, but the #1 bestseller in the range, closely followed by our face and body care products.

What sets you apart?

• Trilogy is natural skincare with sophistication – our fragrances are beautifully delicate and our packaging is chic and contemporary.

• Trilogy is committed to a journey towards sustainability – maximum effect on your skin, minimum effect on our environment.

• Trilogy Certified Organic Rosehip Oil, which is clinically proven, is a key ingredient across the product range and is the cornerstone of our brand.

• Trilogy is about attitude not age or culture. We are an inclusive brand and our broad demographic is testament to Trilogy’s emotional connection to what people want.

• Trilogy is about simplicity in an over scheduled world. Making life more beautiful, not more complicated.

What do you love about the industry?

I love that fact that many in the industry are working towards making more ethical and environmentally responsible products. It’s a remarkable shift from where we were even 10 years ago. It feels great to be growing a meaningful business.

What do you love about Australian/New Zealand weddings?

That we seem to have developed the confidence and freedom to create our own special day. Most of the weddings I have attended recently have been remarkably different and unique. Weddings that are a true expression of a couple’s individuality are wonderful.

What are your five tips for brides?

I just have one. Smile, smile and smile some more. Firstly it makes you feel great when you smile and secondly, it sets the tone for the whole wedding. If the bride and groom are smiling, everyone will relax and enjoy themselves.

How can a bride be eco friendly with her beauty preparations?

I believe you must be calm for your wedding or you won’t enjoy the occasion or remember much of it!


Aromatherapy is a great way to de-stress before your day. Most natural beauty products shun synthetic fragrances in favour of essential oils that can help you address the needs of both your skin and your well being. Invest in aroma therapeutic massages and DYI home facials and be careful to choose products that will address your beauty requirements in a holistic manner. I recommend Trilogy’s Purifying Masque with detoxifying witch hazel and calming rose geranium oil and Trilogy Aromatic Body Oil with de-stressing essential oil.


Tell me about your wedding/dream wedding?

I married my husband at a beautiful remote lodge beside the sea in New Zealand. We decided on a very small guest list of only 23 and we were blessed with a beautiful sunny day. We married mid-morning and the ceremony was followed by a long hilarious lunch. My sister was the Master of Ceremonies and had everyone in stitches with her fantastic sense of humour. It was perfect.

What are your tips for an eco friendly wedding?

Pare everything down. Perhaps all you need is a smile, a gorgeous bunch of flowers, a ring, marriage certificate and the person you love?

How do you keep on learning?

Ask a question and then ask another one. Always be humble and never stop being curious.

Thank you Catherine for joining Polka Dot Bride today! Trilogy products are available at good health food stores and some Myer outlets- they’re also available internationally! Check out their stockists page for more information!

Polka Dot Bride Shop

Originally posted on Polka Dot Bride November 7, 2008 


Today’s expert interview is with the lovely Suzi! Suzi heads up Alannah Rose Stationery which produces many gorgeous designs every year. Polka Dot Bride readers known I’m a fan of Alannah Rose and I’m so excited Suzi took the time to have a chat!

Tell me about yourself?

An art director with a million ideas! I’ve got so many designs in my head, it’s hard to find the time to put them all to fruition! On a personal level, a mum to two gorgeous girls who inspire me every day.

What inspires you?

Pretty things, blogs, interior design, gardens, my children. I’m renovating at the moment so home magazines are my bible – amazingly they are a great source for ideas. A lot of what works for the home can work for a wedding.

What is your number one tip for brides?

Make a list, set a budget and stick to it.

Look for the best quality suppliers you can find to fit within your budget.

Tell me about your wedding?suzi_alannah_rose_wedding-1

Image from Alannah Rose Blog

We had a modern orchid theme. The bridesmaids carried burgundy cymbidium orchids mixed with hydrangeas. My bouquet was cream with the same flowers. The colours were carried across all stationery from invitations, RSVP cards, place cards, table numbers, cake bags, service books and seating plan. The tables had orchid centre pieces and each guest received a silk orchid pin hole flower. They all wore them on the night so the guests fitted with theme!

My dress was by Luci di Bella who is just amazing.

If I did it all again today, I’d go with a black and white theme. Timeless and elegant. Fluffy white flowers, black trimmings and still a Luci di Bella gown.

What do you love about Australian Brides?

Their ability to carry through a theme.

I’m finding my brides are wanting not just the invitation but the entire stationery suite. They want the idea to carry through to the entire day, so the availability of matching menu’s, place cards, table allocation boards and bon bon tags is a must.

What should brides start with when they’re planning their stationery?

Numbers. The first thing you should do is make a list of all possible guests so you have and idea of how many invitations you’ll need. From here you can set your budget, and theme. You can then start searching for stationery that will fit both of these requirements.

What was your most memorable wedding moment?

Probably my own wedding day – our first dance. We did a slow jive to ‘Ain’t that a kick in the head’ to much accolade and cheering.

What are the biggest mistakes you see brides making?

Not saying thank you.

There’s nothing better than good old fashioned manners. Your guests have helped you celebrate, and given you a gorgeous gift – it doesn’t take long to hand write a special note to let them know you appreciated them being there.


Alannah Rose Chantilly Chandelier

5 things a bride must get right?

1. Invitations! These are the first glimpse your guests will see of the wedding. The style, colour and tone of the invitation will give them a hint of the stylish occasion that is to unfold.

2. Dress. This is the hero of the day. Everyone wants to know what the bride will be wearing, and will remember how she looked on that day. Make sure it’s timeless, you feel comfortable and in it, and think that in 10 years time would you look back and wear the same thing again. If the answer is yes – it’s the dress for you.

3. Hair and Makeup – You don’t want to fuss all day, make sure you have a style that will go the distance.

4. Music. There’s nothing worse than a wedding with bad music. Make the event enjoyable for all guests and choose something that will appeal to all ages.

5. Shoes. No bride wants blisters. Make sure they are comfortable as well as glamorous and make sure your survival kit includes Bandaids just in case!

What do you love about the industry?

The beauty, opulence and love that makes a wedding celebration so special.

I love being a part of so many couples special days.

I also love the feedback from clients that I’ve helped contribute to making their day a memorable one.

How do you keep your product fresh and different?

I do two collections a year and revise the current range annually.

Thank you Suzi for joining Polka Dot Bride today! Check out more of Suzi’s work at Alannah Rose Stationery

Originally posted on Polka Dot Bride October 28th 2008



I’m so excited today to launch the brand new Polka Dot Bride series! This is one I’ve had planned for many many months (and then I went and thought about Groom’s month and life happened so it got delayed!)

‘What Would They Know’ is all about meeting the experts, learning about who they are and getting some great advice!

Today’s expert is Maude Toohey. She’s the Nivea brand ambassador and professional makeup artist. Maude has worked with some of Australia’s best – including Kirstie Clements (editor of Vogue Australia), fashion designer Peter Morrisey, Donna Hay, Erika Heynatz, Gwen Stefani and many many more!

Maude sat down to give Polka Dot Bride readers her best tips for sun care and makeup for your wedding day.

What is the truth about a bride wearing more makeup than normal on her wedding day?
Its great to have good coverage on your wedding day, its more effective for the photos but you do want to look like yourself. It’s nice to just enhance your features.


Image courtesy Maude Toohey Makeup

What should a bride do to ensure she is adequately protected from the sun for her wedding day?
NIVEA SUN Light Feel Daily Face Veil is perfect for a bride on her wedding day – the cream gel formula is non greasy and instantly absorbing, leaving your skin feeling silky and light, especially perfect for a hot day.

How can a bride keep her makeup fresh on a hot day?
On a hot day I always recommend a blot powder, just for the T zone to eliminate shine. It’s definitely important for the photos.

What is your number one makeup item for brides?
Individual lashes are great to complete a bridal make up just on the outer corner of the eye – they really make the eye stand out in the photos.

What are the current makeup trends you’re seeing for brides?
Brides often request a brown or grey smokey eye, with very bronzed skin peach or pink cheeks and a nudie pink lip, And lots of lashes .

How do you keep up with all the new trends and styles? How do you use them in your work?
There are lots of great beauty websites that I check regularly and of course I buy all the glossy magazines religiously. It’s great to try different trends on shoots to keep updating your book.

Should brides take notice of trends?
Its important to do make up that suits the individual, it is fun to follow them to a certain extent, however you do have to be careful to avoid certain fashion faux pas.

How can a bride best prepare her skin for her wedding day?
It’s great to have a few facials leading up to the big day, drink plenty of water and eat well.
And make sure you are always protected from the sun.

What suggestions do you have a for a bride when choosing her makeup artist?
Make sure you look at the make up artist work and always have a trial so you know what to expect on the day.

If we took a peek in your makeup kit what would we see?


NIVEA Sun Light Feel Daily Face Veil Sunscreen – I’m always working on shoots outside so sun protection is very important.

Shu Umera Eyelash Curlers
Nars Laguna Bronzer
Benefit Blush in Dallas
Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage


MAC Blot Powder

You’ve worked with some amazing stars and starlets- who stood out to you?
I love working on Australian personalities – they are always so friendly and down to earth. Kate Richie, Erica Heynatz and Lee Furlong are all great girls.

Thank you Maude for joining Polka Dot Bride today! Stay tuned to Polka Dot Bride for more of ‘What Would They Know’?