A team of experts passionate about helping you create beautiful products and thriving businesses

Meet our team of Cosmetic Chemists & Formulators, Aromatherapists, Beauty Business and Marketing Professionals and Niche Beauty Brand owners dedicated to your success.

Gail Francombe, Founder and Director

Cosmetic Formulator, Head of Marketing & Course Tutor

Gareth Despres, Director

Aromatherapist, Head of Sales & Finance, Course Tutor

Chandni Patel, Cosmetic Scientist

Consultant Cosmetic Chemist; Course Tutor and Student Support

Hilary Crisp, Course Tutor: Build Your Beauty Brand

Beauty Industry Expert: Marketing & New Business Development

Jenni Retourne, Tutor: Build Your Beauty Brand

Beauty PR and Communications Expert

Meet our Instructors and Tutors

Gail Francombe, Founder and Director

 

Cosmetic Formulator, Member of Society for Cosmetic Scientists

 

Gail’s passion for the natural world and organic living was awaken in New Zealand, where back in 2009 she completed a Sustainable Living Internship and Permaculture Design Certificate. Planting carrots, harvesting beans and creating calendula balms was a far cry from her hectic, corporate London life and she loved every second.

Returning to the UK she apprenticed with beauty brand owners and skincare manufacturers and studied with experienced herbalists. Goodness & Wonder, her own brand of 100% natural skincare products, was born.

Whilst attending farmers markets and artisan craft fairs, customers were delighted and intrigued by her story. How do you make such gorgeous products? What ingredients do they contain? Gail offered to teach classes, which were a total hit. Students travelled far and wide to attend and soon Gail was teaching at prestigious colleges, large corporations and on behalf of media brands.

The tried and tested lesson content and Gail’s signature teaching style became best selling online courses and the School of Natural Skincare was born.

The School is supported by leading industry professionals including a Cosmetic Scientist, Aromatherapist (her partner Gareth!), Safety Assessor and Beauty Business Expert. The School of Natural Skincare has trained thousands of students from all around the world to make their own natural and organic skincare products and launch successful businesses and passionate new students join everyday.

 

Gareth Despres, Director

 

Aromatherapist, Sales & Marketing Expert, Course Tutor

 

Gareth Despres is an Aromatic Specialist, IEB certified Aromatherapist and a member of both, the Aromatherapy & Allied Practitioners’ Association (AAPA) and International Federation of Professional Aromatherapists (IFPA).

Gareth started his journey to become an Aromatherapist at a challenging time in his life when he had a burning desire to find greater purpose, meaning and personal fulfilment. Fuelled by his interests in aromatics, holistic health, humanistic principles, personal development, and positive psychology, Gareth left his office job in the corporate world in 2013 just before his 35th birthday to work full time as an Aromatherapist, to develop his unique Perfume Therapy and to run the School of Natural Skincare and Aromatic Therapeutics.

Gareth now dedicates his time to sharing his passion for aromatics and essential oils and helping people achieve optimal health, happiness and wellbeing. It is a dream come true to be running a successful business with his partner Gail and to be at home with his young family.

Chandni Patel, Cosmetic Scientist

 

Consultant Cosmetic Chemist; Course Tutor and Student Support

 

Chandni Patel is our in house Cosmetic Scientist and she’ll be guiding you through your studies with us. With a BSc in Cosmetic Science from the London College of Fashion plus many years experience working in the cosmetics industry formulating for big brands, she has the enthusiasm, experience and knowledge to ensure you succeed.

Chandni has formulated every type of cosmetic, including skincare, haircare and nail varnish, for brands such as The Body Shop, Tisserand, REN: Clean Skincare and many more.

In addition to her formulating experience Chandni works in a regulatory role ensuring cosmetic products meet global regulatory requirements.

Chandni is a full member of the Society of Cosmetic Chemists.

Hilary Crisp, Course Tutor: Build Your Beauty Brand

 

Beauty Industry Expert: Marketing & New Business Development

 

Hilary Crisp (known as Hils to most!) is an expert in the business and marketing arena of beauty and skincare, having worked as a marketer for premium beauty brands for more than 15 years.

Hils’ specialism is new business development – working with smaller brands such as The Organic Pharmacy to expand their distribution into retailers and prestigious high end department stores such as Harvey Nicholls, John Lewis, House of Fraser and Harrods.

Her expertise also includes:

 

          • Launching and marketing brands, collections and products
          • Developing new products and collections
          • How to price products and increase profit margins
          • Helping brands increase their distribution and get stocked by retailers; both online and in high end department stores
          • Working with designers and suppliers of componentry, packaging and formulations.

          Hils has worked with countless different niche brands, across all ‘beauty’ categories; skincare, colour cosmetics, fragrance, home fragrance and toiletries. Notably, she has worked with The Organic Pharmacy, a truly exciting, high quality, beautiful, ethical, and award-winning organic lifestyle brand. Other skincare brands she has worked with include Nuxe, La Prairie and Nickel; designer brands include DVF (Diane von Furstenburg) colour cosmetics and Designers Guild home fragrance; and quirky, creative brands such as Lolita Lempicka fragrance.

        • With this professional experience, plus a degree in Business and Marketing, her personal passion for organic products and eco/green lifestyle, and the skills gained through her recent transition into a new career of coaching, Hils is the perfect person for us to be working with; to help, guide and support you to create and build your very own natural beauty brand.
        • When passion, skill and motivation come together – magic happens! I want you to infuse your brand with your own personality, vision, passions, desires and values. I want you to take risks and be yourself so you can be inspired by your work and business every day, because some days will be tough and it is being excited by your unique creation which will keep you motivated. I’m looking forward to bringing all my expertise and knowledge to you now in this comprehensive program along with my newer skills of coaching. We are going to support you step by step, so that you can achieve your dreams!” Hils x

Jenni Retourne, Tutor: Build Your Beauty Brand

 

Beauty PR and Communications Expert

 

Jenni specialises in leading communications and marketing campaigns for the beauty industry using blog PR, traditional PR, brand blog writing and social media. She has worked with hundreds of beauty brands, well recognised and new, including NEOM Luxury Organics, Carmine, Elemental Herbology and Boots Smooth Skin by iPulse helping them to generate significant online coverage, expand brand awareness and dramatically increase sales.

Jenni also works as a copywriter for brands helping them develop a unique voice and style and transform brands’ visions into words. Amongst her successes, she has written on pack and marketing literature for Cowshed and crafted a unique voice and style for luxury Swiss brand SELEXIR.

Jenny runs her own Beauty Brand Communications Agency, Style with Substance