An Interview With Lady Clare Eluka BSYA ACHP – Founder of UK’s 1st Allergen Certified Vegan Beauty Brand Premae Skincare

Now THIS interview has been a long time coming! For those of you that regularly take time out of your day to pass by and read my articles (how I appreciate you lovely lot!) you would know that I first met the brainchild behind Premae Skincare, Lady Clare Eluka who is also a Multi-award winning Ethical beauty Entrepreneur, Educator and Allergy Practitioner during my visit to The Allergy Show this year. I went along with my friend and fellow green beauty writer Bei with the sole purpose to find out more about Premae’s new foundation launch having previously seen wonderful images of the foundation photoshoot on my Twitter fed.

It is fair to say Bei and I both enjoyed our colour matching process and make under experience  and I even put the foundations ‘soft enough to sleep in’ claim to the test! (the colour matching process and mini review can be read by clicking HERE).

Keen to share Clare’s inspirational story and her journey as a young business woman with you all, I did my research on Lady Clare and the Premae brand prior to attending The Allergy Show and, with my questions at the ready conducted a face to face interview after my make-over BUT would you believe technology decided reek havoc which ultimately resulted in me not being able to open up the file of recorded interview upon reaching home *screams in frustration*

With Clare’s ever busy schedule, clashing diaries and Premae Skincare’s grand store opening looming, I luckily managed to steal half an hour of Clare’s time and complete a take 2 of the interview by way of  a telephone interview last week.

So, with confessions of modern technology failing me out of the way, and after catching up with Clare on how our days were going on 1st August 2014, I began my interview with Clare by asking her the following introductory question…

For those not familiar with your brand, can you kindly describe, in a nutshell what Premae Skincare is and what the brand represents?


Premae Skincare is the world’s first 100% allergy free natural beauty brand. The brand represents holistic, green, luxury products for the skin and we’ve just introduced our primary foundations.

The brand is aimed at people like myself who are allergy sufferers and have particular skin issues such as psoriasis, dermatitis, exema, adult acne and have become loved by people that genuinely love ethical high end produce and want to eliminate where possible harsh chemicals in their beauty regime.  

The name choice ‘Premae’ is very unique and has a certain ring to it. Describe how you came up with the name and does it have a particular meaning?

Ok so Premae is two words put together which I came up with when trademarking my skincare range. It takes the first four letters from the word ‘Premium’ Pre and the last two letters from Formulae which makes the Word Premae.

Aside from my brand being a Premium range, the formulations are also alkaline based which has a higher quantity of antioxidants, anti-bacterial and anti-ageing properties in them which is obviously important for the consumer so merging the two words together sums up what my brand is all about.

A nice bit of coincidence I’d like to share is I express a keen interest in Brazil, South America and learning Portuguese so whilst I was out there as part of a holiday, I actually learnt from one of the locals that ‘Premae’ in Brazilian Portuguese means before mother.

It has a really cute synergy to it as my Portuguese friend thought came up with the name on purpose to mean before mother earth there was just water, minerals and elements so learning that was really nice. 

What were the factors behind eventually deciding to ultimately create your very own skincare brand?

I was working as a teacher formulating at night about four years ago and I wasn’t passionate about the products they were selling as they contained harsh chemicals. I have always expressed a real interest in natural, allergy free products and the possibility of one day founding my own skincare brand.

After talking to my family about it and getting over my initial fear factors of not being able to make my thoughts become a reality as I wasn’t known, didn’t have substantial money to fund this move, wasn’t a celebrity and kept thinking who will be buying my products.

I think the driving force was because I had severe acne and eczema in my early 20’s which really affected my own self esteem and confidence and because I was able to clear up my own skin with the products I formulated myself, I just felt there are surely more people out there suffering from similar skin conditions who wanted pure natural skincare products.

I began testing my first skincare brand on the market and completed tests and trials for allergies in the UK. We launched on December 1st and have been going for 2.5 years now. There is definitely a demand for the product, its just about reaching those people now.

Did you find the transitioning process of making natural products easy or particularly challenging at the time?

It was challenging and it still is now. If you look around at the big high street chains such as Boots for example that house alot of skincare, hair-care, beauty and cosmetic brands, the number of natural and organic brands that are available to purchase or even has their own shop is still very low and is a rarity due to smaller budgets etc. 

Me personally, I’m the type of person that is naturally curious so would go out of my way to investigate and try out lesser known brands whilst trying to figure out how to bring to life my own brand. I would go to farmers markets and experiment with home made recipes.

It really is about your lifestyle, who you are and taking it upon yourself  to be the best version of  yourself for we only have one life. For me it doesn’t make sense when someone who chooses to drink alcohol and eat junk food and then complains of their skin being in bad condition. We all have a choice, and that’s the mantra for the brand also, to be that little bit better.

The Premae Skincare brand is aimed at aspirational women who aspire to be better than they were yesterday. It’s not about being prettier, its about being more smarter, cultured and more aware.

You now lead a vegan lifestyle, is there anything you really miss and have yet to find a decent natural substitute for food and beauty wise?

Yeah, there are loads of things that I miss. Every month during my monthlies I crave things like a slice cheesecake or donuts, usually the sweet stuff. Saying that, there are more sweet treat alternatives on the market nowadays that does a great job in satisfying those sweet tooth cravings. Blue Free is really good, … is great for chocolate and ice cream I tend to make it myself from scratch using frozen bananas.

I’m a keen baker so bake my own cakes using the pulp from my home made juices. You will be surprised at what you can make if you take the time out to learn alternative healthy recipes.

The Natural Products Industry is growing at an alarming rate due to individuals expressing a keen interest on what they put on their skin

In your opinion, what makes Premae Skincare different from other natural and organic brands?

Premae Skincare is different because it is allergy UK certified. There is one other brand that is allergy UK certified but they are vegetarian so still use animal by products. We are a vegan and cruelty free brand but think the results from people using our products is what sets us apart.

On our website, you will see a beautiful girl called Jodie Cole who went from having a jaw line of red acne to being 98% acne free. Her picture from day 1 to – day 30 shocked literally everybody including her boyfriend and her family and is now one of our loyal customers. Note: Jodie Cole’s 4 week Case Study and Testimonial can be read in full HERE


People can always talk about how good their products are without any proven results so was really brave and commendable of Jodie to keep a skin diary, write a testimonial for Premae and put it out there for the world to see how bad her skin was prior to using our products.

People can now come into our brand new store which is located on the ground floor of the Whiteleys Centre, Queensway, receive a skin consultation and will walk away with personalised beauty and skincare treatments as well as dietary tips to ensure that persons skin is healthy from the inside out.

It’s not about passing by for a consultation for 15 mins then your on your way, when you come into our store you are met by friendly people who genuinely have a concern in making sure that  you receive the best advise for your skin type / condition.

Moving onto Premae Skincare’s first foundation launch. The Premae Skincare Mattifying Mousse is the World’s 1st Mango Butter Based Foundation which took you a total of three years to conceive.

What was it about Mango Butter that made you decide to use it as your key foundation ingredient?


I love Mango Butter and used mango butter when I first set up the brand. Our harmony balm, which now contains Aloe Vera for sustainability purposes was originally made with a Mango Butter base. You would probably laugh if I told you people would actually eat it because it was that pure and silky. The mango butter is sourced from India and if you eat mangos you would know how lovely they taste and smell. 

Mango butter boosts the skins vitality, is pro-biotic, has anti-ageing properties, is full of anti-oxidants and one of the key things to consider when formulating a foundation is the overall texture and buildability of it. The foundation is very rich but can be applied in layers depending on how much coverage the user wants. It doesn’t clog the pores like other foundations do and made sense to use Mango Butter as my base.

Mango butter, together with sunflower oil, kayclon clay and lavender are other pro-biotic ingredients that make up the formula of the mattifying mousse. 

Did you always envisage adding a cosmetics line to your multi award winning skincare range or was this something that happened through the brand naturally evolving?

Yes I always wanted to get into cosmetics. People that know me personally or who followed my journey since the birth of Premae would know that I was a make-up artist in my teens so having a make-up line would have seemed like the first thing I would have pursued. If I’m honest I found skincare easier to formulate and I knew creating a foundation would take longer so I chose to do it the other way around and bring out a skincare range first.

In a way, I’m glad I did because I think skincare is the hardest industry to crack! But once you have been successful in breaking into the ever competitive skincare industry and have built up a loyal following and fan base over the years that trusts your skincare line and products you sell, introducing cosmetics was a no brainer.

Alot of brands have done it the other way around. They start off with a cosmetics line and further down the line, they  attempt to introduce a skincare range but have seen first hand that people are tentative and don’t really trust the skincare range if they know the brand to be a cosmetics line.

It made sense to start with skincare as that’s what people are really struggling with at the moment. They want 

Are there any plans to expand your new cosmetics line in the near distant future?

Ermmm (ponders for a bit)

I have been contemplating adding a few lip colours to the cosmetic range. I am a lipstick lady myself and own about 100 different lipstick brands and shades at home from purchasing over the years. Possibly an eyeliner but too but to be honest there are a lot of great reputable vegan cosmetic brands out there already that specialise in making great lipsticks and eye make-up so competing in that market doesn’t really appeal to me.

Once Premae Skincare reaches the level that I want it to reach, I will be moving onto offering a different category of luxe beauty products under a Sister Company of Premae. That’s my plan and what I aim to do.

Much to my relief we are finally seeing a Natural Products Brand cater to all skin-tones by offering an incredible 15 different shades (pale to dark) for women to purchase…

Talk us through the colour matching process you underwent in attempting to accommodate the many different shades and skin tones us women of colour come in using natural ingredients. Was it initially hard to create exact matches that were true to tone colour matches?


It definitely was, but then again I am a Science Geek. I do have a PHD under my belt so I guess knowing that people are made up of primary colours mixed with black and white, so you just keep mixing and mixing until you get the shades that you need.

As mentioned before, I am trained make-up artist who used to work alongside many big cosmetics brands before embarking on setting up my own natural skincare brand. One of the things I was constantly praised for during my time at Bobbi Brown was my eye for looking at someone and being able to successfully tell which shade best suited their skin-tone even before I tried it on their skin.

I think that ability comes for my love of all things beauty. I would say I’m a beauty girl first and foremost. I live and breathe beauty! I think that everybody is beautiful and am fascinated by the many different skin tones and shades people come in.

So when I think about what women of olive skinned, golden tanned, deep brown and white women want, most of the time they are after a flesh tone that resembles their skin colour so when you do put the foundation on their face, it gives a flawless finish and not noticeable that they are wearing foundation apart from the odd blemish or h-spot being covered up.

In order to successfully achieve this you have to provide true to tone skin shades. As much as there is diversity when it comes to the many different shades women, in particular women of colour come in, most of us do tend to fall into a couple of shades, it is fair to say that. I know that many brands only offer a ‘token black shade’ or ‘token mixed race’, I knew I could do that too but wanted to offer something more as there are at least four shades per category that women fall into.

I am currently expanding my foundation line from 15 – 17 so there will be a shade lighter than #1 Tapioca which will be #0 and one shade darker than #15 Rye which will be #16 This shade will cater for deep dark women whose skin-tones are similar to actress Lupita

The 16 shades will cover at least 85% of women, but am sure I can go darker than 16 in order to cater for the sudebese ladies and some of our deep deep dark women too. There’s always scope for development.

In your opinion, why do you think brands in general are somewhat reluctant to extend their lines to accommodate the many different shades us women of colour come in?

I think it is generally laziness on the brands half to be honest as it takes the same amount of time to formulate a pale lighter shade than it does to make a darker deep brown shades. I think a lot of consumers have a misconception that acutally brands care. Brands are run by people that have their own agendas so for me I don’t see the point in begging for a company to acknowledge your skin tone if their products weren’t made with you in mind. A lot of women adore MAC for example.

MAC was created 30 years ago by two gay make-up artists as a product to be used on actresses and actors for film and television. What we have to realise is 98% of people on screen back then were not of ethnic backgrounds and we can arguably say the same thing today where white female actresses are regularly gracing our film and television screens.

MAC know they will get the odd golden tanned, olive or deep brown shade but there is no denying their cosmetics are aimed at white women.

For me, there is no point in crying about that, it’s about going to brand who caters to your skin tone, and is visible to talk to like myself. who is from a diverse background where the agenda is about inclusivity rather than exclusivity.

Premae is black owned but 97% of my customers are white women which makes for interesting statistics as my foundation line has been out for nearing 6 weeks now but my best seller by far has been shade #2 Quinoa.

Women of Colour know the foundations have been out but they won’t come and buy it as they are waiting for the likes of MAC etc to make them feel special. I hate to say it but I think that’s because black people, whether it be African, Caribbean or American simply do not support each other.

They want to be loved and welcomed by people outside of their race and community and this is the one of the main reasons why black people are failing in all aspects of their lives because of the self-hatred that has seemed to be adopted down the generations which makes this situation really sad and upsetting.

I’m not one of those people though, I would happily support any individual, regardless of their background or ethnic origin if the product is good and meets my requirements. My agenda with Premae Skincare is inclusivity. That might not be the agenda of other brands.

You have won many awards for your work within the health, well-being and natural products industry…

Out of all of the awards and accolades you have picked up since establishing your skincare brand, which one means the most to you and why? Using only two words, how would you think you’re family and close friends would describe you?


I guess it will be the Natural Beauty Awards for the Pharma 100. To be announced as the winner for the best eczema range out of 100 products submitted was really special for me. Natural Health is the No 1 Glossy Magazine in Europe for Health and Beauty and as you can image they get applications, upon applications, upon applications from brands across the world.

So for the judging panel to acknowledge Premae Skincare and granting us that number one spot was just an incredible feeling and in the same month, Prince Charles cousin purchased that cream. I wrote him a letter of thanks whilst informing him that the cream he had purchased had been awarded so that was experience was really lovely and humbling too.

There definitely is a synergy going on as that cream completely sold out on Premae’s Skincare’s 2nd Birthday because Dr Sally who writes for the Sunday Times had Dermatitis and after using the cream for 8 weeks her skin cleared up and no longer suffered from Dermatitis.

It is just fantastic to see true results like these and am glad my skincare range is helping so many people with skin related problems!

Using only two words, how do you think your family and friends will best describe you?

My family and friends will probably describe me as someone who is resilient, because as you know its not easy running a business! Everybody knows that. You need a huge amount of resilience to deal with the daily challenges that come with running a brand, managing people and to keep coming up with new ideas that will keep your customers engaged and inspired whilst keeping yourself inspired and passionate. Sometimes that can be hard.

As for the second word (laughs) My sister actually called me something as an indirect jokey diss whilst we were on holiday recently and would say it perfectly sums up my character and who I am. The fact that I was happy about the comment probably made my Sister a little annoyed as she intended to diss me (laughs again).

She called me a ‘Gypsy’ and upon reflecting I would definitely say that I am!

I don’t follow rules or convey to what others are doing. I’m not a fashionista, don’t follow trends as I simply dress how I want. I’m not cool and nor am I trendy but by naturally not being all of those things I have to be intuitive in the same way a Gypsy will roll through and wear a red hat and purple shoes and white socks for example and without even knowing it, there ARE cool as Gypsies are just themselves which inspires others as they are silently saying be happy with Who.You.Are as an individual, don’t conform to other peoples opinions. Just.Be.You!

All things running a successful skincare range aside, what are you favourite past-times?

I absolutely LOVE listening to music. One day I could be listening to Hip Hop and the next day I could be listening to some old school Marvin Gaye. Today I was listening to Jagged Edge. I also do a phenomenal amount of reading and am really into educational and philosophical books such as The Alchemist. I have plently of books to get through as I’m not a fan of watching television. 

I’m a real foodie at heart, it is not often refuse food (laughs). Thai Food is my weakness at the moment and aside from that I do LOVE to travel. They say the only thing you pay for which makes you a ricer is travelling and I truly do believe that.

I need regular getaways as I take on a lot of stuff which is a result in running a successful business.

*interview concludes*

Premae Skincare has been getting alot of love from recently, and that because of three things. The first being the obvious fact that I am head over heels in love with the foundation. Never would I have ever contemplated sleeping with foundation on but when reading such bold claims on Twitter I just knew I had to test this supposed theory to the test myself.

Secondly because of the AMAZING lady and brainchild behind the Premae Skincare brand! If you have been fortunate to meet and converse with Clare in person her energy alone will have you bouncing off the walls excitement. This is not even taking into account her academic achievements in obtaining a PHD, her sheer drive and passion to succeed in all that she does all whilst running and managing a successful natural and allergy free skincare brand is incredibly inspiring, uplifting and downright motivating from my perspective (can’t believe she is the same age as me!)

Lastly, because I love supporting brands that I am genuinely passionate about by helping raise awareness via social media channels. Clare briefly touched on the fact that we as black people do not support our own, and whilst I hate to admit it, this statistic is unfortunately true! I’ve seen it first hand myself and all I will say on this topic is we should be actively SUPPORTING and ENCOURAGING each other to reach NEW HEIGHTS *enough said*

Lady Clare’s brand new skincare boutique can be found on the ground floor of the imfamous Whiteleys Centre (near GAP and Zara) where she and her friendly staff will be at hand to help you with your skin concerns / issues. If you were unfortunate to miss the grand opening of Premae Skincare last night, do not stress for you can still take advantage of 20% off on all purchases up until 31st August 2014.

To obtain you 20% discount, simply visit Premae Skincare Facebook Page where you will see instructions on how to claim your discount.

You can be kept up to date with the latest Premae Skincare news and future product launches by visiting Premae Skincare website, Premae Skincare Twitter or Ask Lady Clare Twitter

I hope you have enjoyed this inspirational read as much as I have putting this article together.

Peace, Love and Light!

Photo Credits: Premae Skincare