On Clean Beauty: Interview with Kayla Tjia, Founder of One Fine Secret


Welcome to One Fine Secret. Your Natural & Organic Clean Beauty Store in Melbourne, Australia.

Our friends at The 3pm Box love all things wellness – they’re healthy treat queens dedicated to making sure you get over that 3pm slump without the sugar crash. Angelica D’Amelio, Co-Founder of The 3pm Box, was thrilled to discover One Fine Secret recently and sat down with me for a cosy chat to learn more.

From how it all started, to self-love rituals, clean beauty and the story behind our name, I hope this interview inspires you to fall further in love with natural beauty.


1. Hi Kayla! First of all give us the lowdown on One Fine Secret.

Hi lovelies! Well, have you ever wondered what’s really in your beauty and body products? For me, the journey of discovery kicked off a few years ago when I attended a talk by Therese Kerr, ambassador for Certified Organic Australia (and Miranda Kerr’s mum!). I was absolutely shocked. I had no idea that the beauty industry is largely unregulated, and there’s many common ingredients used in mainstream brands that we certainly wouldn’t want near our bodies.
I jumped into learning all that I could about ingredients and became quite the label nerd. When making the switch to clean, ethical beauty products I struggled to find any Melbourne stores that were filtering and curating their products to strictly healthy, high-performance standards. Even the health stores and organic boutiques I still visit have ingredients in their organic and natural beauty that experts advise to avoid.

Josh Rosebrook Organic Small Batch Skincare Creation Image

Guided by the little dreamer in me, I set out to create One Fine Secret. A clean beauty destination in the heart of Melbourne CBD and online, for conscious women and men seeking the healthiest mindful beauty. You’ll find a carefully curated collection of leading organic and natural skincare, makeup and body brands from around the world, all 100% cruelty free. A relaxing sanctuary with experts in natural beauty to help you, and you won’t need to check ingredient labels for nasties.

2. What’s the story behind the name One Fine Secret?

There’s actually a couple of elements to its meaning. Firstly, the ‘secret’ to a beautiful life, buzzing with wellness and vitality is found in nature. Everything revolves around nature, we are part of nature ourselves. Unfortunately, as we’re becoming more disconnected from our natural environment than ever before, we’re losing a lot of the health benefits it provides.

For thousands of years our ancestors have been turning to nature for the amazing, potent active ingredients ideal for beauty and healing. The common theme is that in each of our products, you’ll find a wonderful selection of active natural ingredients that nourish your body and produce results similar to and even beyond mainstream alternatives.

One Fine Secret Clean Beauty Store in Melbourne, Australia.

Secondly, we wanted to provide a platform for you all to enjoy these hidden natural treasures that are making waves around the world with beauty editors, experts and also winning mainstream awards too.

The reality is natural beauty is still a niche part of the broader industry, and a lot of these boutique brands are still quite undiscovered by conventional beauty shoppers. They’re harder to find in stores especially, but one day I’m hoping the ‘natural beauty’ industry will become simply the ‘beauty industry’.

And as fate has it, our Melbourne store also perfectly reflects our name too! It’s really a hidden secret, tucked away behind grand wooden doors of a character-filled heritage building less than a block from Bourke St Mall.

3. We know everyone is different, but what’s the best way to truly love and care for our skin?

Whilst maintaining holistic health and selecting the ideal active products for your unique skin concerns is essential, I believe that the way to really elevate your beauty routine is by making it a self-love ritual.
Even if you have just the smallest amount of time, allow yourself to stop and notice how your skin, mind and body feels. Take in the beautiful scents and textures of your skincare. Immerse yourself with calm and gratitude, appreciating the amazing body that you get to nourish each and every day.
It’s a really beautiful way to start and end your day, and truly nurture your sense of well-being.

4. On the topic of self-love, what’s the one thing you wish we all knew about nasties in skincare and the impact that has on our skin body?

Can you guess one of the most common irritants that you’ll find in almost every conventional product you use, from skincare, makeup, haircare, personal care and even cleaning and household products? Well, it’s synthetic fragrances (or perfume/parfum). It seems almost everything is scented nowadays to make it more enticing for us to use.

One of the key issues with synthetic fragrances (as opposed to natural plant-based fragrances), is that they often use a group of chemicals called phthalates that hold scent and colour. Phthalates are linked to skin irritation and are a known endocrine (hormone) disruptor and reproductive toxicant. They’re also plasticisers, used to make plastic products soft and bendable.

In addition, the term ‘fragrance’ or ‘parfum’ on an ingredient list is protected by trade secret laws. So when you see it listed, it can actually include a cocktail of hundreds of harmful chemicals to create the one fragrance.

If you’re looking to switch to healthier products, synthetic fragrances is definitely one to avoid, and we don’t allow them in any of our products. Our skin is our largest organ, and it’s permeable which is exactly why nicotine and medical patches work. So you’d want to make sure that you’re feeding your skin with only wholesome goodness.

One Seed Organic Perfumes – Image via oneseedperfumes.com

5. There’s so many beauty brands and retailers on the market right now, what’s different about One Fine Secret that sets it apart?

It’s not uncommon to find brands that use marketing to make their brand out to be healthier or more green than they really are, a practice we call ‘greenwashing’. On beauty labels, the words ‘natural’, ‘organic’ and even ‘clean’ are not regulated terms (unless it’s a certified organic product).
At One Fine Secret, we want you to fall further in love with natural beauty and make it easy for you to choose truly healthy. We carefully select our products to ensure they meet our self-imposed highest ingredient, performance and ethical standards. We go beyond the ‘hot ingredients’ to avoid and make sure there’s absolutely no ingredients that are known or suspected to be harmful for you. We even handpick from within the brand ranges where necessary and you can be sure there’s no greenwashing here.

Cindy from Luk Beautifood at One Fine Secret

Whether you visit us in store or online, we’re always dedicated to making your experience a personalised and wonderful one. We’ve had quite a lot of our guests enjoy hours in our store where they’ve played with products, and I’ve helped them with skincare tips or consultations. I’ve also trained in makeup and love helping ladies trial makeup.
At our core is also the desire to nurture our thriving community of clean beauty lovers. We hold regular holistic wellness events in our Melbourne CBD store to inspire our community to embrace conscious beauty and intentional living.

6. We’re going to finish off with some quick questions!

Favourite One Fine Secret product? There’s too many amazing ones I love! If I have to pick one, then the Josh Rosebrook Vital Balm Cream, perfect for anyone with a tendency for dryness (that’s me!). It’s a captivating and calming scent of sweet bubblegum and blue tansy, a plant that’s extremely soothing for your skin and gives the cream a gorgeous light blue hue. It also uses the botanical form of hyaluronic acid, Indian Senna Seed Oil, to keep your skin plump and hydrated.
Buy Josh Rosebrook Vital Balm Cream at One Fine Secret. Natural Organic Skincare & Makeup Clean Beauty Store in Melbourne, Australia.
I love that it’s such a revolutionary formulation and sensorial delight, combining the rich, protective properties of a balm with the benefits of a cream form for effective penetration.
It’s no wonder it’s a cult favourite and award-winning rich moisturiser, repeatedly selling out when it launched in 2017, and had a 600 long waitlist!
3 words to describe One Fine Secret Mindful. Kind. Passionate.
One word to describe 2019 for One Fine Secret! Adventure-filled!
Life motto? Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication

Welcome to One Fine Secret. Your Natural & Organic Clean Beauty Store in Melbourne, Australia.