If you haven't come across the blog FToxins yet, you really need to! A fountain of knowledge and filled with helpful and easy swaps of every day products. Sisters Ariane and Delphine are the power house behind the blog and have got to be, quite possibly, two of the loveliest people we have met!
How would you describe your personality in three words?
Ariane: Passionate, loyal, silly.
Delphine: Curious, sensitive, playful.
When you wake up what are the first three things you do?
Ariane: As soon as I wake up I will drink a big glass of water and then I’ll make myself a coffee and sit down to do some Bible reading. If I don’t have this quiet time in the morning I just don’t feel right for the rest of the day!
Delphine: I have to admit, I check my phone (messages, Instagram and e-mail), then I'll make myself a mug of warm water and lemon while pottering and listening to BBC Radio London for news updates.
What does your dream day look like?
Ariane: My dream day would involve a beautiful sandy beach with crystal clear waters, lots of yummy organic food and of course, all of my favourite people. That sandwiched between watching the sunrise and the sunset would be perfect.
Delphine: It would involve being outside in the sunshine somewhere beautiful where I can forget the stresses of everyday life. It's why I'm so obsessed with my National Trust membership because it forces me to leave my comfort zone and explore spaces with stunning landscape gardens.
What’s the best piece of advice you have ever given and received?
Ariane: Our Belgian grandfather, Papy, would always say “difficile va aussi” which loosely translated means “difficult works too”. My (rather unhelpful) natural instinct is to give up when things get tough, so this reminds me to keep pushing through. Obviously, it’s great when things go smoothly but difficult works too.
I’m not sure what the best piece of advice I’ve ever given is! I’m like everyone’s annoying big sister (ask Delphine) because I can’t help but encourage people to be the best version of themselves. I guess it would have to be ‘let it go’. Whatever ‘it’ may be – hurt, unforgiveness, control. Everyone wants to be free, but we don’t realise we’re the only people keeping ourselves in chains. I’m still working on this!
Delphine: The two pieces of advice that have helped me in my career were both given to me by fellow journalists. One told me that sometimes you have to move out to move up when I was in two minds about jumping ship. And the other said: 'when you're new, don't be afraid to stay quiet, soak up everything like a sponge and then, when you understand the processes and politics around you, you can start making a name for yourself.' Both helped me make important decisions and flourish as the 'new girl' in various roles.
And for everyday life, I usually send motivational songs to people when they need it! Chance the Rapper's Work Out is my favourite at the moment because things can happen unexpectedly and you can find yourself bad, sad, mad etc but ultimately the sun comes out again and it'll work out. In the name of Dory from Finding Nemo, just keep swimming!
What inspired you to launch F Toxins?
Ariane: It was a mixture of needing a distraction at a really difficult time and answering the questions we were constantly getting from friends and family. We had both gotten a bit of a reputation for our natural and organic lifestyle, so we thought it would be amazing if we could inspire even just one other person out there.
Delphine: FToxins was born during a time in our lives when a lot was happening around us that we couldn't control so it was a therapeutic distraction - and to see it blossom the way it is now makes my heart sing!
What is the biggest lesson you have learnt since starting F Toxins?
Ariane: We’ve learnt so much and have made so many new friends, but I think the main thing it has taught me is to have thicker skin. Whenever you voice an opinion, no matter how good your intentions are, it’s probably going to offend someone. And people aren’t always that nice when they’re offended…!
Delphine: The power of the online community. Social media can be really unhealthy in so many ways but it's also seen Ariane and I make new friends - with similar values - and collaborate with people we would have never met otherwise.
Where do you go or what rituals do you have for those moments you need to feel inspired or energised?
Ariane: I will go boxing. It’s a place I go to punch out all of my worries and anxieties and I always walk out sweaty and ready to take on the world. I’m also big on taking a day of rest each week. Rest doesn’t necessarily mean doing nothing – it means spending a day doing only things that recharge you. For me that means not making any plans, a lot of cooking and eating and most definitely a DIY facial with all of my favourite skincare products.
Delphine: Get dressed! I'm a sucker for lounging around in a dressing gown but I know it isn't conducive to being productive so on days I want to get sh*t done, I make sure to get up and go. I also recently learnt of a CBT tool called 'postponing worry' and it's really helped me to take a specific time to think through anything bothering me - and forget them outside of that allocated time slot.
At KINN we believe in clean beauty, for you, your family and your home, what is family to you?
Ariane: I’m such a family-oriented person so I almost just want to name everyone I’m related to. I love my friends and I know there’s the saying that friends are the family you choose but I loooooooove my family! None of us are perfect and like any family we have our issues, but family really is forever from the day you are born to the day you die, and I believe even after that. There is no giving up or leaving. It’s unconditional love.
Delphine: I absolutely agree! And, I try to live those values by only having clean products at home, and also by only gifting clean products to my loved ones too. Family to me is a home you'll always have, even when you get a little lost sometimes.
What's your favourite thing about your home?
Ariane: I love that my home is as toxin-free as I can possibly get it. There is not one thing – from makeup to cleaning products – that could potentially be harmful to me around. As soon as you step out into the world you have little to no control over what you’re exposed to, so I really do enjoy coming home and knowing my body can truly detox and recover. I’m also a semi-minimalist and try to live as brandless a life as possible so I also like the lack of constant stimulation. It gives my brain some time off.
Delphine: The natural light. I live on the fourth floor of an old art deco block and whenever I even think to complain about the fact we don't have a lift, I just have to wake up in the morning and see how bright my flat is (it helps that I painted it all white, too!) Plus, the stairs keep me fit right!?
Favourite podcasts and other digital inspiration?
Ariane:I know this makes me a bad millennial but I take in information much better by reading so I don’t really listen to podcasts that often! Instagram is definitely where I get most of my inspo from. I love seeing what real people (not celebs and massive influencers) are up to – especially people who I may never have crossed paths with otherwise.
Delphine: I really like listening to the 'How I Built This' podcast for entrepreneurship inspiration. And, I'm constantly scrolling through subreddits like 'Aww' and 'eyebleach' where there's an actual 'happy stuff only' rule so it's all cute animal stories and inspiring moments from around the world.
Which five sites are always in your browser history?
Ariane: I’m a recovering Mail Online addict so I’m proud that it’s no longer on the list! I think my top 5 are:
- YouTube – for knowledge, inspiration and silly entertainment.
- The Skindeep Database – the list of ingredients in skincare is never ending so I’m always having to look one up.
- Byrdie – having ftoxins featured on my favourite beauty blog ever was quite exciting!
- The Chalkboard Mag – it really is a guide to living well.
- Love What Matters – It’s easy to think only bad things are happening in the world so I go here to remember that love and kindness is everywhere.
Delphine: We always use ewg.org as their ingredients database is integral in our swap research. I'm also on sites like Naturisimo or Pravera to check out any beauty buys I'm after. I like blogs like Trash is for tossers to learn more about truly going zero-waste and I'd be lying if I didn't mention Netflix. I watch a lot of TV/movies while pottering around my flat.
We love seeing your swaps on Instagram and find your blog just a fountain of information, what’s next for F Toxins?
Ariane: Definitely YouTube! If we can ever get over how we look and sound on camera…
Delphine: Vlogging! Ariane has just bought a great camera and it's something we've been thinking about for a while. It is scary though! I rarely talk to camera on our Instagram Stories but it's something I'm going to try and get used to now we're getting a lot more traction.
How important is it to you that your beauty and homecare products are clean?
Ariane: SO important! I mentioned earlier that we have such little control over so much of what we are exposed to that I don’t understand why you wouldn’t choose clean beauty and home products when you can. Especially since they are just as effective as mainstream products. And if you’re not doing it for your own health, do it for the environment so there is still a planet for your kids and grandkids to inherit.
Delphine: It is totally non-negotiable for me now. I only want to use products, across beauty, home etc, that are good for me, wildlife and the planet, so I'm constantly trialling new stuff to see if the performance matches the ethos - and I'm yet to be disappointed.
Which are your favourite KINN products?
Ariane: Anything in your Sweet Orange fragrance. But also your Lavender Glass Cleaner. Am I allowed to say EVERYTHING?
Delphine: First of all, I love all your KINN products because the packaging is so chic and sleek that you don't need to hide it away! But, if you're making me choose, I love your lavender bathroom cleaner because the fragrance makes me feel like I'm in the Provence - and nothing gets my light grey floors as clean as your floor cleaner.