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Beauty and brains. Two of our favourite things – and Claire Vero, founder of Aurelia Probiotic Skincare, brilliantly combines both…

We hear a lot about how women are taught not to take up space. And so, instead of just having one token day dedicated to women, we’re having an ENTIRE WEEK, International Women’s Day is fine, but no thanks – we’re having International Women’s Week. So this week, we’re hosting a series of interviews and competitions, each celebrating women and featuring one amazing female entrepreneur.

Today it’s the turn of an entrepreneur who’s taken a cult beauty brand and turned it into an award-winning bestseller. Clair Vero founded Aurelia Probiotic Skincare in 2013, and today the brand’s luxury skincare is stocked in the likes of Liberty, Space NK and Net-A-Porter. And you can guess just how precious shelf space in Liberty is… Using natural, BioOrganic ingredients only, the brand’s ethos is to offer ‘Intelligent Skincare with Integrity’, employing next generation probiotics to balance skin and give you that lit-from-within glow. Claire’s background in pharmaceuticals led her to launch Aurelia – and the brand was one of the first to employ probiotics, effectively combining natural ingredients with advanced technology for incredible results.

What does feminism mean to you?

For me, feminism is all about having an array of choices, brought about by the move towards equality between men and women. It’s about listening to each other and empowering those who are less fortunate. Feminism is about respecting and celebrating each other and encouraging girls to strive to be whatever they want and be proud to be female.

A woman who inspires you and why?

I was particularly moved by the unveiling of the statue of Millicent Fawcett, the first ever of a woman in Parliament Square, and was truly inspired by the work she had done. An activist, writer, intellectual and political leader, she was ahead of her time, in an era when women were only just starting to find their voice.

What are you most proud of in your career?

I am lucky to have had many moments I’m proud of throughout my career. From being picked by top retailers like Net-A-Porter, Liberty and Space NK early on to winning our 100th award after just five years, there have been some amazing milestones! I’m proud to have such a loyal customer base who love what Aurelia Probiotic Skincare does for their skin and who take the time to tell us in emails, letters and phone calls!

Tell us about your favourite female-authored book?

I thought Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale was an incredible novel. The mix between dystopian future and archaic ideals was both fascinating and shocking. I thought the television adaptation was excellent and look forward to reading the sequel which is out this year.

How do you feel about the future of feminism?

I feel positive that things will keep getting better for women and girls around the world. In the last 50 years alone there have been huge advancements in equality. We are not there yet by any means, but I’m happy to see that we are moving in the right direction.

Three female-founded brands you’re a fan of?

Aromatherapy Associates, RIXO and Tessa Packard Jewellery

How can we make gender equality a reality?

Education is the most important tool we have at our disposal, and it starts from early on. When boys and girls are taught to respect each other and that they can make a difference to the lives of many, we’ll be on our way to ensuring equality.

What’s next for Aurelia?

We’ve got some exciting plans in the pipeline, with new products and launches on the horizon, as well as some bigger projects we can’t wait to share!

Why are women so amazing?

It’s down to the individual. As humans we have a huge array of traits to be proud of and to be ‘amazed’ by, whether male or female. When it comes to women, there’s something very special about the sisterly bond we can have with each other, the caring and nurturing nature that can lend itself so perfectly to motherhood.

If women ruled the world…

…then history would look very different. There would have been more in place to protect women’s rights from early on and perhaps our beauty standards wouldn’t be so strict!

Aurelia Probiotic Skincare have a luxurious Body Cleanser & Body Serum duo. How to enter? Follow Reading in Heels on FacebookInstagram or Twitter – like the photo post and tag your most gorgeous friend in the comments – AND don’t forget to retweet/share the post hashtagged with #internationalwomensweek. That’s it! The competition closes Friday 15th March at MIDNIGHT.