'Fighting cancer meant switching to natural beauty products. These ones worked for me.'

This wonderful nugget of beauty wisdom comes courtesy of Mamamia’s shiny new beauty podcast, You BeautyFor this week’s In Her Bag, Leigh Campbell rummaged through Elle Halliwell’s beauty bag to find out what products she loves. 

Elle Halliwell is an Australian journalist, motivational speaker, mum, cancer survivor and author of A Mother’s Choice.

Listen to Elle’s full interview on You Beauty below. You can also subscribe to You Beauty here so you never miss a thing. It’s a blast.

Elle Halliwell was working as a successful fashion and showbiz editor in 2016 when she experienced the most intense 48 hours of her life.

First, she heard the words “you have leukaemia”. Two days later, she found out she was four weeks pregnant with her first child.

It meant choosing between seeking immediate treatment for her chronic myeloid leukaemia diagnosis, or delaying to deliver a healthy baby. Elle chose to delay life-saving cancer treatment in order to continue the pregnancy and give birth to her son. In December 2016, Tor Felix Biasotto was born.

With that decision came the reality of completely overhauling her entire lifestyle, including replacing her beloved beauty products with natural alternatives where possible.

“Rewind five years ago, I used to use whatever was new, then a couple of years ago I went through this health crisis and it was up to me to completely change my lifestyle if I was going to see this through,” the mum-of-one told Mamamia’s Leigh Campbell on the You Beauty podcast.


“Once I made the decision I was going to keep my baby, my poor husband had to be there with me as I went on a detox through the house, I redid my beauty cupboard and toiletries, it was an expensive exercise. I still have a few things in there that I love, but have a few nasties in there, but it’s only things I will use occasionally.”

Finding great natural and organic alternatives to traditional cosmetics isn’t an easy task. It involves a lot of trial and error, and often, some sacrifices, whether it be in the texture, staying power or the price tag.

To find out more about the natural beauty product buys Elle’s found work for her, Leigh went rummaging through her beauty bag. Here’s what she found.

Mukti 2-in-1 Resurfacing Exfoliant, $69.95.

Image: Nourished Life.

Why she loves it:

"I had a facial about a year ago and the therapist was like, 'You don't exfoliate do you?'. She said she could tell because my skin was really dull, I hadn't realised how important exfoliation is. I was trying to find a good one, I went through quite a few then saw this one had almost five stars on Nourished Life. It's made my skin feel quite fresh."

Dermaviduals Moisturiser, available in clinic.


Why she loves the brand:

"One thing I've found, and have heard other people who've gone through cancer have found, is that going to a beautician and telling them that [you have/had cancer] freaks them out. People have been turned away because it's too hectic and therapists don't want to give you the wrong advice. This brand is natural, there aren't too many crazy ingredients on the label, and they actually train therapists how to treat clients with cancer. It's really improved the quality of my skin, it feels a lot more moisturised and hydrated."

Wotnot SPF30+ Natural Sunscreen, $28.99. 

Image: Wotnot.

Bayeco Green Tea Nourishing Night Cream, $44.95.

Image: Beyeco.

Kryolan Concealer Wheel, $72.

Image: Kryolan.

Why she loves it:

"It's called the magic concealer wheel, my sister had it when I was growing up. It's actually stage makeup so it's got good coverage. I use the red tone under my eyes, and the light one on the top of my cheekbones. But you can go over the top, so use sparingly."


Tom Ford Eye Kohl Intense Eyeliner, $55.

Image: David Jones.

Axiology Lip Crayon in Keen, $26.

Image: Axiology.

Why she loves it:

"I've always loved an orangey red like MAC's Morange, but you end up eating a lot of your lipstick. Choosing something natural is really important to me when I'm choosing lipsticks. I love the colour of this one, it's so easy to apply."

Egyptian Magic All-Purpose Skin Cream, $27.99.

Image: Mamamia Shopping.

Why she loves it:

"It's also Madonna's favourite, it's very natural, mostly beeswax, little glossy thing you can use for everything - can use as a highlighter, lip balm, on cuticles etc."

B.Tan Tanned AF, $19.99.


Why she loves it:


"I tan when I'm feeling particularly ugly, when I need one of those pick-me-ups. This one's not natural, but it has a great grey, blue base... it's a great, natural looking tan. Comes in a foam [and] it buffs in nicely with a foam mitt."

Happy Skincare Warm Fuzzies Nourishing Body Cream, $27.50.

Image: Happy Skincare.

Spendy: FOREO UFO Smart Mask Treatment, $395.

Image: FOREO.

Why she loves it:

"It's like a facial at-home for a minute-and-a-half. It's really cool and it's so much fun, I do it in the bath. My skin feels plump, and because the UFO has a warming setting, it makes you feel like there's lots of blood rushing to your skin, which is always great."

Savey: Black Chicken Axilla Natural Deodorant Paste, $18.50.

Image: Black Chicken.

Why she loves it:

"It was really important to me to find a natural deodorant, I've tried so many before and I felt like they did nothing. This one smells really nice, like essential oils, I'm a big fan. I've bought some for my mum, sisters and friends. It took a little while to adjust, though, because it's not an antiperspirant so you'll still sweat. You use a pea sized amount and rub it under your arms."

Do you use any of Elle's favourite beauty products? Tell us your thoughts in the comments.

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