Style And Beauty Secrets From An Industry Expert
Style And Beauty Secrets From An Industry Expert

Style And Beauty Secrets From An Industry Expert

Karen Cummings-Palmer is a leading health and wellness expert and founder of sustainable skincare brand 79 Luxe. Specialising in age management, she believes wellness, nutrition and style go hand in hand. Here, she tells us about running a business, her health essentials and her style tips for this season.

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I started my career in the music industry and then worked in the hospitality industry. It was during this time I started to re-evaluate my life. Endless nights spent in the Met Bar and Nobu led to me seeking a more balanced life and wanting to look after my health.

As a result, I became interested in food and nutrition, and studied integrative nutrition while I was working in LA with my health and beauty clients. I also created my brand, 79 Luxe, as I couldn’t find exceptional body products for my clients that I really believed in. The ethos of my brand is intentional luxury body care that nourishes, protects and illuminates all skins.

GOOD QUALITY INGREDIENTS in health and beauty are EXTREMELY IMPORTANT, and I encourage everyone to READ LABELS on both FOOD PRODUCTS and SKINCARE.

On a normal day I wake at 6.30am, hydrate and meditate. I begin my morning movement to a soundtrack of classical music for ten to 20 minutes. This is one of my health non-negotiables. I also love to use my LED mask as soon as I wake up. 

I like to own the first and last hours of my day, so I have a no-phones rule until 8am. Then I check on emails and social media, and at 9am the serious business begins. I avoid breakfast meetings but there is often a Zoom or team brainstorming in the diary. 

It’s impossible to compete with the big brands. We rely on word of mouth and good old fashioned expert insight to help spread our message of health and skincare. I create products and wellness programmes that help people look and feel better and, as an independent brand, I can really focus on these priorities.

Whilst most of my time is spent on 79 Luxe, I still see clients for health and nutrition. I really enjoy helping people re-frame the way they feel about their health and their lives and giving them attainable and sustainable solutions for wellness. 

Good quality ingredients in health and beauty are extremely important, and I encourage everyone to read labels on both food products and skincare. You don’t have to be a nutrition expert to understand that unrecognisable ingredients are not the best for skincare. Most of the time you are paying for a name or the marketing which should never be a priority over the ingredients you are putting onto your skin and into your body.

Sustainability is one of my top priorities. At 79 Luxe we don’t use boxes and cellophane. When we ship, it all goes out in recyclable packaging – whilst we care deeply about how things look on the shelf, we won’t compromise our environmental responsibilities to look pretty in the post.

Age and beauty is always an interesting topic of discussion. I believe beauty is ageless. There is beauty in youth and there is also beauty that comes with age, and both should be celebrated. I think what women really want is the essence of youth – the energy, the transparency and the possibility that can be acquired at any age.

I like to employ stress management techniques like walks along the river and daily dancing. I try to practise gratitude, but I don’t believe everything happens for a reason. I do think there are lessons to be learned every day in life and therefore growth to be gained from this crazy ride.

My everyday health essentials are a mix of social activities like walking, cooking and meeting friends. I also take high quality supplements – a liposomal vitamin C, amino acids, collagen, super greens, Omega 3 and vitamin D in winter.

There is BEAUTY IN YOUTH and there is also beauty that COMES WITH AGE, and both should be CELEBRATED.
There is BEAUTY IN YOUTH and there is also beauty that COMES WITH AGE, and both should be CELEBRATED.

There have been a lot of small pivotal moments in my career. Moments that have shifted a gear and re-defined my future. The brand has received some incredible rewards but there are also poignant moments from my past like the little boy at school who teased me about my ‘horrible’ skin. It’s moments like this that remind me that pain can fuel progress. 

External and internal beauty are inextricably linked. I was born with terrible eczema so how I choose to dress is an authentic representation of who I am. Image is very important to me and it’s something that I spend time on. I also think it’s integral to the success of my business and how I present myself in the industry.

My style is chic and relaxed. I gravitate towards informal separates with a bit of polish and glamour. However, I always think of comfort – it’s hard to look good if you feel uncomfortable. I love contrasting combinations like silk and leather or cashmere and cotton. Experimenting with different combinations can really help define your style – I like to mix elegance with an edge.

My partywear wish list is full of Maria Grachvogel pieces. I love her gold embroidered silk tops and loose tailoring. I also love Lisou’s velvet suiting and Max Mara’s camel midi dress. For work I have more of a failsafe formula – I’m always in smart jeans, silk shirts and sharp blazers. 

I’m seriously impressed with the British high street this season. I love Jigsaw’s collaboration with Roksanda and Reiss’ Atelier collection – both are so chic. It’s hard not to be impressed by some of Zara’s designs too. Nowadays, it’s easy to mix high street with designer and still look polished and put together. 

I love Carmen Busquets’ style – she always looks so classic and elegant but mixes in a bit of rock ’n’ roll. I also admire Tracee Ellis Ross for her witty, confident and personal style.  Oh, and last but not least, I have to mention Trinny Woodall who is always so fearlessly fabulous!

I do think there are LESSONS TO BE LEARNED EVERY DAY in life and therefore GROWTH TO BE GAINED from this crazy ride.

This season I’m embracing the red trend. Generally, I don’t follow trends, but I like to use them to inspire me. They force me to use my wardrobe by wearing things I may not have worn for a while. I won’t go out and buy a load of red pieces, but I will dig out older styles and reinvent them for the new season. Red is the perfect colour for the party season.

My Prada jeans have stood the test of time. I bought them about 18 years ago and I still wear them religiously – my cost per wear has made the investment worthwhile. I also have an amazing Max Mara coat that turns 12 this winter and an Amanda Wakeley silk jersey dress that I have worn for over a decade.

My goals for 2024 are to continue the conversation on intentional beauty with meaningful presence nationally and internationally. We committed early on to launching products we believed were best in category and we have a few more things in the pipeline that fit the brief – so watch this space.


Shoot Location: Invisible Collection
Photographer: Victoria Adamson

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