BossBabes Reality TV Star Edna Swart's Beauty Routine

There’s no artifice about this co-star of a new reality TV show on young women who use social media to market their businesses

Edna is the founder of Ed & I swimwear. Photo / Supplied

Edna Swart laughs when I tell her she’s described as a socialite in the supplied biography I have of her. Then we get to the influencer tag. The swimwear designer who launched her label Ed & I three years ago has got quite a following on Instagram, but in real-life she’s no posing princess.

Turns out she grew up in Tokoroa and worked in a bank and that it took a bit of convincing to get the 29-year-old to join friend Iyia Liu on the new reality TV show BossBabes (debuting Tuesday, August 6, 12pm TVNZ On Demand).

For sure, Edna understands the premise and the power of what the show explores — how a new generation of social media savvy women are using this way of communicating as a business tool — but she’s aware there are perils as well.

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“I want to stand strong for my business. I don’t want to see myself as an influencer,” she says in a candid chat. For now Edna is happy to be her own best advertisement, modelling her bikinis, for her company Ed & I which takes its name from her nickname. But she says putting yourself out there leads to a pressure to look the part.

Luckily a background as a top athlete at school and her ongoing love of running daily keep her in great shape. She’s also learned to look after her appearance, without getting too carried away. Being on the show helps project who she is, but as she notes, it’s only one part of her story.

Edna studied finance and has a background in banking. Photo / Supplied

That started in South Africa where she was born, transferring to New Zealand when she was five. Her father was a farmer and the relocation took her family first to Te Kuiti and later to Tokoroa. Edna left school early and spent some time back in South Africa before shifting to Auckland. At age 20 she enrolled at Massey University to do a finance degree. After graduation she worked in banking, launching Ed & I in 2016, with then-partner Harry Ferreira.

The initial idea — inspired by what the LBD is to elegant dressing — was to create the sort of simple and timeless swimwear she was struggling to find. “The first season was black in three styles.” Colour came next, then adding bra-style straps for superior fit over the usual nylon ones. For the next collection, she is vibing 80s Barbie hot pink bikinis in five styles, including with contrast black and white straps. Come summer, Edna also hopes to roll out a designer collaboration.

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Her new Ed & I Body range will be in high rotation, helping her tan, sunscreen and moisturise all over. Handy because she lives just up the road from Takapuna Beach. The range has been picked up for sale in pharmacies as well as being on her own website Extra products are in development and it is being eyed by a leading overseas website.

With so much going on, it’s no wonder this was the year Edna decided to focus on her business full time, leaving the bank armed with inside knowledge of how finances work. She is keen to attract investors and fuel business growth to Australia and China.

Filming for BossBabes finished in mid-July, timed with the launch of the bodycare range and a celebratory event held at an Auckland rooftop bar. Edna says she hasn’t had the chance to watch all of the show, but adds: ”I’m proud of what I’ve seen.”

We ask how she gets camera ready and how she stays real.

Selfie secrets
Always have a light on you, not behind you, and try to find a soft light. Know your best side and which angle best works for you. Slight chin down, this does take practice so be ready for a lot of selfie photos taking over your camera roll. I always try to have a soft smile; this also brings out the smize in your eyes which makes your selfie photo-friendly.

Being bikini ready
Be confident! Wear your confidence proudly. Your body is the only one you have, so love and take care of it. Do what you need to do to help you feel confident. I love to exercise, I try to get “bikini ready” in winter, however, owning a swimwear company I do try to live a healthy lifestyle all year round.

Edna often models her own line of swimwear. Photo / Supplied

Beauty ethos
My beauty ethos is holistic from the inside out. I exercise every day, eat the right foods for my body type and look after all my skin. Sport has been part of my life from a very young age, so I have always appreciated the physical and mental benefits of keeping active. Acne and body acne has unfortunately also been just as much a part of my life for as long as I can remember. I started getting pimples in primary school and I still get adult acne to this day.

For many years I was self-conscious of my skin, I couldn’t even wear makeup as a young girl without the fear of making it worse and unfortunately my treatments of Roaccutane and Isotane didn’t help. Today I have made peace with my skin and it wasn’t until I was 23 when I truly gave it the love and care it deserved. Today, I have regular facials and am disciplined with my skin routine with a mantra of preserving what I have.

Makeup memories
Reflecting back, I would have to say watching my mother applying makeup and me having a little play by applying her blush and lipstick. I didn’t have any makeup or even wear makeup at all as a young girl as my parents did not want me to. I think it's still evident today, given my basic routine and products I use.

Day and night routine
AM: I start my morning with an early run. After my shower, I use Murad’s Nutrient Charged water gel and Kiehl’s 12.5% vitamin C face cream. Working from home I don’t wear makeup at all.

When I have meetings or a lunch with the girls, I add on top of my moisturiser:

PM: I do a weights work-out late afternoon. After my evening shower I apply R-OH intensive brightening treatment which has 5 per cent pure retinol in it. Some nights I top up with a face serum, but I try so many of these I don’t have a standard go-to. If I’m going out I’ll do the same makeup but add:

Edna's favourite products. Photo / Supplied

Five favourites

1. Rock and Roll Suicide by Triumph & Disaster: I cannot recommend a better face scrub. I know it’s marketed towards men, but I use this every day because of how fine it is and how it really clears my skin and controls the excess oil.

2. Brow This Way by Rimmel: I have big eyebrows that do need a good brush and style. Brow This Way is perfect to keep them styled with the argan oil gel. This is one of my everyday products used on my face. I won’t wear foundation [daily], but I will style my brows.

3. Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille eau de parfum: I do play around with a handful of my favourite scents, but nothing beats this fragrance. I prefer the deeper, sexier smells and Tobacco Vanille gives that sweet, spicy, sexy smell.

4. Karen Murrell True Love red lippy: Being all natural, super smooth and hydrating, it's my go-to red lippy. The creamy nature of it also doesn’t cause the cracking effect.

5. ed&i body AFTER: This is an all over body oil, very high in vitamin E. I apply this every night after my shower and sleep in it overnight to hydrate my body and give it the love it needs while I sleep. It's such a perfect time to do it.

Edna stars alongside Iyia Liu in TVNZ's new BossBabes reality series. Photo / Supplied

Transformation trick
My makeup looks always lean toward neutral earthy colours which give a natural look day and night. Pop a bright red lip on and my day look becomes a tad sexier for the night.

Best beauty trick
I wish I had one. I feel like I’m always trying to learn beauty tricks from others, so I have some of my own. Advice though — keep your face out of the sun or SPF like crazy! I really wish that was drilled into me as a young girl.

Hair and its care
I have fine but a lot of hair. I’m blessed with a natural wave in it which makes pulling off the beach wave look easy. I don’t do much to my hair. I’ve let it do its own thing for a long time, I even cut my own hair from my late teens to mid-twenties. In recent years I’ve given it the salon treatment of a maintenance cut and only a simple dark colour. I never bleach or mess with it too much.

I’m obsessed with Kerastase Bain Fluidealiste shampoo and conditioner.

Treatment time
I love PRP facials, otherwise known as a ‘the vampire’ facial. I would, however, like to try ‘Ulift’ for skin tightening. That’s next on my list.

Beauty to you is…
As natural as can be, simple and elegant, starting from the inside and caring for it from the out.

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