Under the skin of the beauty entrepreneur’s digital little black book.

Abbie Oguntade e is the CEO and founder of Freya + Bailey Skincare. Beautifully formulated and packaged, every skin brightening product the company creates is vegan, natural and organic. Committed to limiting its impact on the environment, for every new employee, Freya + Bailey will plant fifteen new trees.



And steering this rather fabulous ship is Abbie, whose knowledge of the beauty industry runs more than skin deep, thanks to the many years she accrued launching a skincare division for a large multinational. The experience was at once empowering and highly stressful – the latter of which did little to help the cystic acne she had developed and was struggling to get on top of. When she was unable to find the help she needed, her research led her to a clinical team who not only provided a convincing answer to her own problem, but were so overwhelmingly brilliant that she would go on to partner with them to launch her own brand: Freya + Bailey.

Foregoing stability and her high-octane professional life to go it alone, Abbie has never looked back – not least because she radiates certainty about what she wants to achieve. It was imperative to her, for example, that her products should be non-toxic and entirely transparent as to their ingredients, as well as being packaged in a fresh and streamlined way that would appeal to real women. But just as important was that, when turning her back on the corporate world, she should also leave behinds its unhealthier habits – such as 4am phone calls from executives and CEOs. Freya + Bailey is, in every regard, a beauty brand for the future, created by women for women.



Here, she opens up the pages of her online little black book and shares the excellent digital advice given to her by make-up artist Adeola Gboyega; tells us which Instagrammer embodies the spirit of everything she is trying to do; and why her young son will forever be YouTube’s biggest star in her eyes.

My favourite website...


The Modern House. I am a design nut through and through and some of the houses on the site are just jaw dropping and super inspiring. More than an estate agent indeed, it’s an architectural feast. Matt Gibberd is a genius.

My favourite app...


I’m partial to a cute little something every so often and I use the shopbop app to get my clothing fix. They have some really cool up-and-coming designers on the app, with super wearable pieces for that souped-up glamour that I will of course be returning back to now lockdown has been lifted. It’s not shopping, it’s strategic planning (that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!).

My favourite blog...


I really like the Mad About The House blog. It presents design and interiors in a really down to earth and authentic way and I’ve definitely spotted a few pieces from there that ended up in our Freya + Bailey studio.



My favourite podcast...


TheIndustry.Fashion. I’m a people person and this podcast gives an insight into some of the industry movers and shakers. It is story telling at its best, detailing their motivations, how they have achieved what they have, their hopes and their fears. A real behind the scenes reveal.

My favourite YouTuber...


My son. He makes little videos with my husband and has about five followers, which is major!

My most recent buy online...


I really like Soapsmith’s Camden handwash. It’s made by their artisan founder Samantha Jameson, who creates these gorgeous, handmade concoctions that smell divine and leave hands wonderfully soft. I also love Auden skincare’s nutritional supplements for day and night. Lockdown left me feeling sluggish thanks to all that time indoors, so I have combined this with upping my greens and vitamin D.

Last book you downloaded or read...


How To Stop Time by Matt Haig. It’s so beautifully written and life-affirming. I literally couldn’t put it down. As an English major, I’m incredibly moved and responsive to the written word.

Favourite tweeter...


Let’s just say there’s one infamous tweeter whose comments I’m certainly not missing.

Favourite Instagrammer...


It’s got to be the amazing Ateh Jewel. She’s this rather fabulous, triple threat of a woman as a journalist, blogger and activist who just tells it like it is. At Freya + Bailey, our philosophy has always been about authenticity, self-acceptance and self-care, whether that be emotionally or topically via our award-winning skincare ranges. Ateh embodies that spirit, that fearlessness and generosity of spirit.

Favourite tech gadget...


I’m an avid music listener, so we’re fully wired up in terms of sound. That’s actually another thing I missed so much as a result of lockdown – musical discovery courtesy of the ever-eclectic musical tastes of the team. We’re definitely that office – the one buzzing with energy and purpose and you could say the music is our backdrop to that.



The most useful gadget/item on your desk...


It’s the time zone piece in our studio. We work across a number of markets and so it’s handy to know at a glance what time it is for colleagues and business partners. I had twenty years of professional mileage working within and outside of skincare before launching Freya + Bailey. Don’t get me started on execs and CEOs given to calling at 4 am on a whim. That time piece ensures I am NOT that person.

First thing/app you look at on your mobile when you wake up/in the morning...


It’s not sexy, but it’s the parent app from my kid’s school. There is this continual stream of things they need to do and it’s hard to keep up sometimes. Normally I’m taking a deep breath as I read it, hoping today wasn’t the day to bring in that radically creative home-made costume piece!

Last thing you binge-watched...


The Mandalorian on Disney. My two kids got me on to it and we never looked back. It kind of sucked us all in from episode one. It’s inspired by Star Wars and would really appeal to fans of that franchise.

Favourite brands have you discovered online...


It’s got to be Ayten Gasson. They do the most exquisite lingerie that is handmade and just beautifully crafted. I came across them recently and haven’t looked back.

Social media allowed me to meet...


A whole host of wonderful Freya + Bailey glow getters. During lockdown we introduced one-to-one skincare consultations and it’s been really intimate and heart-warming to be reminded of how emotional the business of skincare is. It’s beyond vanity, beyond skin deep and a real privilege not only to listen but to help.



The best digital advice I've been given...


Adeola Gboyega, make-up artist for Pat McGrath labs gave me the most fabulous advice recently about how to Zoom-proof my look. My philosophy is that great skin is the best foundation for make-up, but she was great about tips to avoid looking sallow on screen, in preparation for my all-day Zoom meetings and live sessions. One other piece of advice: use the mute button!

My screensaver is...


A great pic of my husband and two boys holding up words of inspiration. They have been huge supporters of my decision to leave an established career working for multinationals and to go it alone with my own skincare range.

My pet online hate is...


Inappropriate behaviour – the kind of thing you wouldn’t do in person. I was participating in a recent Freya + Bailey Live Q&A and a gentleman asked just the most disgusting question. Yes, he went there! That kind of behaviour!

Do you have any online rules or resolutions...


Absolutely. I operate in Do Not Disturb mode past a certain time. I lost count of how many 4 am or 6am calls I responded to as an exec and, actually, you just feel pretty worn down the day after. Boundaries are really important. They help you achieve and safeguard that work-life balance – and your sanity.

The Internet. On balance, a force for good or ill?


I would state in balance, a force for good. It has permeated society and transformed the way we go about our day-to-day business, with easy accessibility to information, services and people. That aspect of good needs to be safeguarded however and should never be taken for granted.

By Nancy Alsop
June 2021

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