I Have a Hunch This Small Beauty Brand Is Going to Be the Next Big Thing


(Image credit: Who What Wear)

Welcome to our newest editorial initiative, Who What Wear Spotlight, where we'll be using our editorial platform, social following, and ad inventory to turn the spotlight on small businesses that need our support now more than ever. Each week, we'll be highlighting a new fashion or beauty company. If you own a small brand and would like to be considered for the program, please apply here.

When you see a Neighbourhood Botanicals product, you won't forget it quickly. The glass bottles double as ornaments for your bedside table or bathroom display, as each product has a special illustration as a label that looks like it should be blown up as a wall print. But the brand is much more than Instagrammable packaging. Founder Micaela Nisbet works on the formulations from her small lab in Leyton in East London. Her motto is "pure skincare rock'n'roll," and she strives to use sustainable and ethical practices in all aspects of the business. The range is vegan and cruelty-free, and all the packaging is recyclable—"there’s no animal testing, no big-pharma, no crazy markups, and no unnecessary ingredients."

Here, Nisbet explains how she built her brand and how she is adjusting her business in the current climate. 


Introduce our readers to your business. When did you start it and why?

Neighbourhood Botanicals is a natural skincare brand made in East London. I got into skincare formulation (later studying it formally) when I was touring with bands in my former life as a sound engineer. I wanted an "out” from the road… and just as well now live music has stopped.

What is so special about your products?

Aside from the regular stuff (vegan, natural, cruelty-free, eco-packaging, charitable causes), they’re all formulated in-house by yours truly. That’s quite unusual in the beauty world. NB is a stable of my creative works, complemented by packaging designed by super-cool artists.

Your packaging is so amazing. How did you develop this, and how important is it to help you stand out?

It was a leap of faith at first, as an unknown brand, to do something so visually different from any other beauty product on the shelf. I worked originally with an artist I knew from the hip-hop scene, then expanded to other artists for each new product. It’s important to me to do things differently to everyone else. They feel very matched creatively to the formulas. People remember the packaging.


(Image credit: Neighbourhood Botanicals courtesy image)

How have social-distancing and stay-at-home orders affected your business? How have your priorities shifted?

We’re only two to three people in quite a spacious lab, which we have been able to keep open the whole lockdown, as it’s not work we can do from home, obviously. We’ve been really busy, what with everyone stuck at home. They’re less tempted to just pick something up from Boots on the way home from work and are looking at more skincare online instead.

Some people are finding joy in getting dressed and doing their beauty routine, even if they have nowhere to go. What do you think fashion and beauty can offer people right now? What has it done for you?

It’s a well-worn trope but so true… Especially if you’re feeling overwhelmed and anxious or just bored, spending time caring for yourself and your skin is really a necessity for mental health.


(Image credit: Neighbourhood Botanicals courtesy image)

What are your top three favourite products you sell and why?

Face Off Oil to Milk Cleanser because it takes like five seconds to clean your face with no trace of grime or makeup and leaves your skin soft. Late at night, I need the least effort possible! The Daily Glow Facial Oil because its so silky and smooth, and a quick few swipes leave my skin healthy, plumped and prepped for the day. Then it’s gotta be Sunday Morning Dry Shampoo because the longer I don’t have to wash my hair, the better. It’s fast and easy and gives me an extra three days without build-up or itching like normal dry shampoos.

Is there anything else about your brand and products you really want our readers to know about you?

I’ve realised from the previous response that actually maybe all my products are accidentally formulated for lazy gals?! Anyway, if you’re someone who wants an easy healthy daily skincare routine and appreciates a pop of colour on the bathroom shelf, come join the Neighbourhood!

Shop Neighbourhood Botanicals:

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Emma Spedding