Natural Beauty with Lola Berry

IMG_1823

 

We have been lucky enough to experience a number of amazing events at the Canberra Centre since the launch of its new beauty precinct. We’ve been to a Sip and Scent masterclass, a workshop on Minimal Beauty and on Sunday we popped along to hear nutritionist, yogi, TV presenter and author Lola Berry speak on natural beauty and nutrition.

As soon as we lined up to receive our delicious smoothie (no doubt made from Lola’s recipes) and take out seat, we noticed a different vibe in the dedicated event space compared to the day before. Lola was casually lounging in her chair, chatting with guests, responding to comments on her social media, and eating the yummy snacks from Thrive. It was clear from the get go that this masterclass was going to be a little different.

‘My name is Lola and I’m a nutritionist,’ she began. ‘I’m also a yoga teacher, a nature nerd, and a bit of a hippy. To be really clear, I wasn’t always healthy. I used to be a DJ and I was a party animal. My favourite food is a Caramello koala and I used to eat a lot of them. I actually fell in love with my DJ teacher would you believe and I went on a summer detox to lose weight and lost 20 kilos. And that’s where it all started.’

After her light bulb moment Lola (real name Lauren smith – ‘Lauren is my real name by the way. The media say I won’t admit it but I own it’) completed a Bachelor of Health Science, majoring in Nutritional Medicine, at Endeavour College of Natural Health. ‘When I was a DJ and a makeup artist, I would wake up feeling empty and like I hadn’t found my purpose. But with health, wellness and nutrition, it feels like what I’m meant to be doing.’

So how did a DJ, makeup artist and self-confessed party girl turned nutritionist break into TV as a nutritionist? ‘I cold-called a TV morning show on Channel 10. I rocked up in converse, looking like Cyndi Lauper, and they asked to sign me as their nutritionist. My website broke after that with all the traffic and people were like “where can I buy your book” and I was like, shit, I don’t have a book so I started writing one.’

A scroll through Lola’s Instagram account might have you thinking her life is all yummy food, yoga and holidays (it often is) but Lola has also faced adversity on her journey to success. ‘If you are on day time TV, $300 bucks a pop, every second week isn’t going to pay your rent so I was also working in a smoothie bar at the same time. I met this woman whose macrobiotic cooking class I had done and I told her how grateful I was for the course and the things I had learned.’

‘She told me that she recognised me but not from the course and then realised I was on TV. She then said I was a disgrace to the field of the nutrition. She said how can anyone take you serious with the way your dress. I was like “don’t cry Lola don’t cry” and I just took it and told her I would pass it on to the producers.’

‘So my point is you see my highlight reel on Instagram but there are times when it’s really challenging. Only a couple of years ago I couldn’t pay my rent. Once someone came up to me and said that what I said on TV was good but that wearing yellow makes you like pudgy.’

‘Another time I went to the bank and got a student loan but I really spent the money on paying a film crew to go to America with me. We were filming a segment [For Lola Berry’s Fruits and Roots] at the Harlem street soup kitchen and I went to interview this guy who had been coming there for 12 years. I was worrying about how I looked before I went on camera to interview him.’

‘I asked him what his favourite thing about the soup kitchen was and he said Thanksgiving. When I asked him why, thinking it would be because of the turkey or something like that, he said it was because they put nice table cloths out. That was a huge reality check for me.’

Here I was worrying about how I looked and there he was valuing a nice tablecloth. I grew up with an affluent background compared to this guy and it just reminded me to be grateful for the opportunities I had. The moments where I’m giving back and learning are the ones I love the most.’

 

IMG_1817

 

The way Lola told each of these stories and reflected upon her career was refreshingly candid. A glance around showed each and every person in the room was hanging off her every word and like us, wished Lola was our new best friend. Lucky for us, Lola had plenty more wisdom to impart.

 

Lola on Dropping the Guilt

‘You probably saw on Instagram that I had a macaron for breakfast today and then all the food here [all those delicious Thrive goodies] so I’ve dropped the ball today but I did go for a run in -7 degrees. I’m still learning. I still fall off the wagon. I just don’t beat myself up about it anymore.’

‘The biggest lesson I’ve learned about balance and the biggest gift I’ve given myself is dropping the guilt. I have a history of eating disorders and if I eat something bad I would be like “oh god all the damage.” But I think we just have to be a bit kinder to ourselves.’

‘Work has always come first for me but in the last six months I’ve spent more time in my family. I’ve been thinking lately that at the end of the day, when all the glitz and glamour and Instagram likes go away, there are only about five people who’ve got my back. I want to value that more. I think when you are actually balanced, you will be more successful and I’m finding that more.’

 

Lola on Fats and Oils

‘I’m big into oils in my diet as well as topically. I like to put olive oil and coconut oil on the middle and lengths of my hair. If you want good skin, hair and nails, you want fats, avocado, salmon, nut butters. Fat will not make you fat. Fat is what makes your skin effing good. And it tastes good!’

 

Lola on Foodie Facials

‘I’m all about foodie facials. It looks gross and I’m not going to lie, my housemate was like “are you putting poo on your face?” And I was like “no it’s avo mash!” Whenever I do a facemask, I also do it on the back of my hands. I even put sunscreen on my hands when I get shellac done on my nails. I always have SPF in my bag.’

 

Lola on her Favourite Beauty Hack

‘My best beauty hack is highlighter. I don’t wear too much makeup but highlighter is my non negotiable. When I’m in LA I go gangbusters and use a Lancôme one and then I also use Kryolan. And Charlotte Tilbury, I love her magic cream and illuminating primer.’

 

IMG_1840

 

Lola on Cellulite

‘I get bad cellulite every now and then when my weight fluctuates. When I do, I tighten up my diet and cut refined sugar and watch my salt intake. I also walk. Walking is way better for cellulite than running. I also use a body scrub every day or a couple days a week, which also helps get rid of cellulite. It does take 4 to 6 weeks to see a difference.’

 

Lola on Treating Herself

‘I like making my house a bit of a day spa. It’s really nice to nourish yourself from a beauty perspective. People notice when you are glowing and vital. I love to treat myself and I often do it with beauty products. I treated myself for Christmas with a Glam Glow Christmas pack. I love their facemasks. I like the firming treatment and the youth mud mask. I also like their limp plumper.’

 

Lola on Mixing Up Your Products

‘I find that products are trial and error. What works for me might not work for you. Just try everything. When you find the stuff that works for you, make it work for you and stock up. I’m a big believer of mixing it up. I use naturals, or organics but I’ll use non-natural things too. I’m all about balance.’

 

Follow Lola Berry on Instagram

Emma Batchelor

Emma Batchelor

As well as a near obsessive interest in fashion, Emma is a former scientist, occasional contemporary dancer, avid reader and self-confessed cat lady (she has three). Emma lived in Leiden in the Netherlands as a baby and Leiden ought to have been her middle name had her mother thought of it at the time and not chosen Louise instead.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *