In conversation with Fay Halkitis.
Fay Halkitis has immaculately straddled the line between functional, holistic beauty therapy and naturopathy, using her profound knowledge and experience within her arena to create and bring forth a new space within her Bourke St clinic.
INTERVIEW BY ONDINE PURINTON-MILLER
Clinical would not be the word to do justice to the space she’s holding; dappled, leafy light is permanently glistening and like a whisper echoing and refracting through apothecary bottles. There is a tangible serenity here, it feels as though time has slowed down, a state of stillness permeates the room, a quietude where we can finally wind down and embrace the moments of self-care that reground us to our true state. Not only this; when we embrace the ritual of self-appreciation, as Fay puts it “…you can care for others…”
Through appreciation and love of oneself, Fay is allowing the space for a shift in humanity, empowering women and men alike through the acts of “anointing with potions and lotions”. This ancient ritual now teleports itself to a 21st century luxury context.
Grounded in functional, luxurious, plant-based natural beauty sourced globally, Luna Beauty & Apothecary brings itself forth in a time when our ability to truly care for ourselves dwindles. In this often time poor realm we inhabit, we need a helping hand, a guide who will nourish our total well-being, through tonics, herbs, beauty rituals and all the other necessities that fall by the wayside.
Somehow, self care is seen as extravagant and self-indulgent, however these practices have been delighted and relished in for time immemorial. It brings us back to our true self. With a heart of gold, acceptance, sweetness and kindness oozing out of her already perfect skin, Fay is your girl. She has the hands of someone who truly cares for her clients and is single-handedly allowing a community of people to begin to feel like themselves again.
Fay, what is your personal quest?
Love and learn.
What is your quest in regards to Luna Beauty & Apothecary?
Luna was created to offer an honest and relaxed space where people can gain a better understanding about the wider implications of their decisions, whether it be the food they select or the creams they use. Your dollar is your vote so make sure your vote is going to the right people! Good old fashioned customer service is my main priority. In a world where everything moves so fast I felt Sydney needed somewhere they could have a herbal tea and talk all things nutritional and skincare. Products for the store are selected on merit, not trend. But of course, they must also be luxurious and feel special to use.
Beauty is all around us, many see this superficial focus (and I say superficial in the most literal sense of the word i.e. on the surface) as vacuous. I see self-care and seeing beauty in the world around to be therapeutic and conducive to healing and self-appreciation. What do you have to say about beauty?
I couldn’t agree more Ondine. I have always loved the ritual around anointing oneself with lotions and potions, especially at the end of the day before bed. This is particularly true when you use pure, plant based products. They help you connect back to nature since they are created with intentions beyond marketing ploys. I don’t like the term anti-aging. If you use botanical based products, they will be rich in antioxidants which is what essentially heals and repairs the skin over time. I like to remind my clients that when you care for yourself, you can care for others better.
Do you have a moment in your world when you feel most powerful? Or when you feel there are no obstacles for you to face?
I don’t know if I can say there are times when I feel there are no obstacles to face. Can anyone? Learning to accept that there will always be obstacles is quite empowering.
Where do you source your magic from?
Good food, books, herbs, art and the sun.
At what point did you realise you wanted to pursue what you’re doing right now. Where did that path begin for you?
It was a gradual process but when I look back I realise the signs were always there. When I was in primary school we had the opportunity to present a project on anything we desired. I straightaway knew I wanted to do my assignment on herbs and their uses. A strange choice for a child but it always fascinated me. Owning my own business was also something I just knew would happen.
Did your upbringing influence your endeavours? Sometimes I feel as if this is inadvertently the case. Its only in hindsight that you realise the path was laid out from the beginning.
Not in a direct sense but I was always encouraged to do whatever makes me happy. There was never any pressure to take a certain path. That sense of freedom is invaluable.
How do you stay in your passion and wake up every day feeling inspired to continue on your path?
Passion can sometimes feel like the waves of the ocean, comes and goes in ebbs and flows. Researching all the time inspires me so much. Interacting with clients is always fascinating and a learning experience. Being in clinic is a humbling experience because it reminds you that you don’t know everything. Plus, it’s fun and interesting work so that helps!
When do you feel most powerful as a woman?
The female energy is always evolving and in reality hard to capture. I think I’ve always been a late bloomer so I suppose with age I feel more powerful and comfortable with what lies ahead.
What has been the biggest driving force in what you do?
A fascination with the human body and sometimes the extremes to which we push it. Naturopathy is at it’s a core an ancient form of medicine.
As a naturopath and expert in beauty, is there a remedy that you swear by? An elixir of life if you will?
Impossible to choose just one. You can’t go past the three basics: Good quality organic produce every day, a good night’s sleep and regular facial treatments.
How would your friends describe you?
If I asked them I think they would say loud but I’ll go with honest, funny and genuine.
What is your Zodiac Sign? Do you identify closely with it?
Capricorn. I can remember reading my horoscope from the age of 8. It is always eerily accurate.
Is there a stone you are drawn to?
Garnet and diamonds but they all have a beauty of their own.
What is your latest obsession?
Turmeric lattes and hydrosols.
What is most precious to you?
My family including doggies.
Do you have any heirloom jewellery that has been passed down to you?
No but my mum has great taste in jewellery and a really diverse collection.
What is the most important lesson you have learned, thus far?
Everything happens for a reason.
What makes you laugh?
I have a very silly sense of humour so anything with cute animals or Seinfeld.
When do you feel most cherished?
First thing in the morning when I’m greeted with a smile and kiss by my fiancé. Cheesy but true!
What gives you courage?
The unbelievable, unwavering faith my partner and family have in me. Every time I doubt myself, they remind me anything is possible.
Jewellery has the ability to convey so much about a person and about a woman. What piece of jewellery do you value most? What does it make you feel?
My engagement ring still makes my heart flutter. Every time I look at it I think about the incredible weekend that followed the proposal. The ring is from London and is 105 years old! My fiancée chose it all by himself and I think it shows how well he knows me.
What do you consider your proudest moment?
Finishing my Naturopathy Degree was very satisfying and opening Luna Beauty & Apothecary was the most challenging but rewarding thing I have ever done. It was on the cards for a while so when it finally happened I was very proud.
When do you feel most your authentic, connected self?
At the beach where I can bathe in the salt water and soak up as much energy from the sun as possible. It is the best form of therapy.
What is one rule you live by?
Have no rules. Just kidding! I’m a Capricorn so we always need rules. Live your truth. It is the only path to happiness.
If you could time travel, to where would you travel? Why?
I would like to go back to around the early 1900s or Edwardian period when there was still so much to discover about the world. It would have been a great time to be an explorer.
Interview by Ondine Purinton-Miller
Photography by Matisse Ruby