Those in search of the Miranda Glow will have been heartened by news that KORA Organics, Kerr’s mega-successful natural beauty range (founded in 2009), launched in the UK exclusively at Space NK. To say KORA is her passion project is an understatement. Within minutes of meeting her, Kerr reveals herself as a delightful nerd, a science geek who planned on being a marine biologist before the modelling world came calling.
Annually ranked by Forbes as one of the industry’s top-earners since 2008, 37-year-old Kerr has walked for everyone, from Prada to Victoria’s Secret to H&M. Her sunny, girl-next-door brand of Aussie appeal was perfectly placed to be parlayed into a beauty brand, but Kerr is no mere figurehead. KORA is her baby, a labour of love that she put not only her soul into, but her own money. She still owns 95% of the business. ‘All the money I’ve made from modelling, I’ve put into it. I really wanted to make sure I had the best people in the business helping me, and I needed money to fund that.’
It was her husband, Snapchat founder Evan Spiegel, 28, who persuaded her to scale back her modelling and fully commit to KORA and its international expansion. They married in 2017 and seem to lead an extraordinarily quiet, home-based life for a couple with an estimated combined net worth of $2.7bn (more than Beyoncé and Jay-Z, to put it in perspective). They share their $12m home in Brentwood, Los Angeles, with their 11-month-old son, Hart, and eight-year-old Flynn, whose father is the actor Orlando Bloom.
Unsurprisingly for a couple whose first date was a yoga class, theirs is a super-clean regime: no bacon butties at breakfast. ‘At the moment our whole family’s on celery juice,’ Kerr says – referring to a trend that’s sweeping LA. ‘First thing in the morning on an empty stomach. I started doing it, and then I got Evan to do it. We do 16oz, Flynn does 30ml and the baby does at least 10ml in a little plastic syringe. Everyone loves it.’
While Spiegel was hardly Ozzy Osbourne before he met Kerr, he has definitely been, if not tamed, then certainly honed into the best possible version of himself – starting with his skin. ‘When I first met him, God love him, but his skin was very dry and flaky. I thought to myself, “You’re really sweet and cute – but do you look in the mirror?” So I said to him, “Here, use this.” I gave him the [Kora Organics] Noni Glow Face Oil, £60.’
What, straight away? ‘No, it wasn’t straight away,’ she laughs. ‘We spoke about it – organically. No pun intended. We’d known each other for a while by then. After a week of using it, his skin has never been dry or flaky again. He said, “This stuff is the real deal.” And I was like, “What do you think I’m doing – just playing around?” He uses it religiously, morning and night. It completely transformed his skin. It’s one thing to get testimonials [about the products] but it’s another thing to see the results first hand. I look at Evan more than I look at myself, so he’s a great mirror for me.’
Her first husband is also a fan. ‘Even Orlando is obsessed with it,’ she says. ‘He uses it every day. “It’s shrunk my pores,”’ she adds, affecting a dramatic voice for Orlando. ‘I was like, “OK – good! I’m glad it’s shrunk your pores!”’
Kerr is passionate about every certified organic ingredient within KORA, but none more so than the noni plant, or Morinda citrifolia, to give it its Latin name. ‘My grandmother introduced me to noni when I was 13,’ she says of the purple and green fruiting plant that’s indigenous to her native Australia. ‘My whole family is very much into health and wellness, and the noni was something that stuck as a daily thing.’
The family would each drink a 30ml shot – and feel the benefits. ‘It’s basically a superfood super-fruit, because it has over 100 vitamins and minerals and is full of antioxidants. People have been using it for thousands of years both internally and externally – and getting incredible results. When I started drinking it, I felt more energised. I was getting tired at school, and it really helped with that energy and focus.
If I had a breakout, my grandma would say, “Put a bit of noni on it, love.” My grandpa would drink it and it would help with his arthritis, and there was even a friend’s dog that couldn’t walk properly. They put it in his water and he started jumping around.’
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But while it was a no-brainer to make noni a key ingredient in Kerr’s KORA Organics, the extraction process wasn’t straightforward. ‘It’s a really stinky fruit – it’s sometimes called a cheese fruit,’ she explains. ‘The first samples smelt horrid. Then we found a way to freeze-dry it but make sure the nutrients were locked in and effective.’
The process took three years. ‘My passion was to make certified organic skincare, but it needed to be super-effective and results-driven. There’s no point putting something on your skin that won’t be effective. I don’t have the time for that. We have the best organic chemists. They’re so advanced with their technology.
“But I believe the products are so effective because they use the most potent, pure ingredients, full of nutrients and antioxidants. There’s so much pollution out there – so many things that we can’t control. But the one thing we can control is what we put on our skin. And if you can use products that are going to help it detoxify and ll it with nutrients, why wouldn’t you?”
She says she is particularly delighted to have received so much feedback from people with sensitive skin conditions such as rosacea, dermatitis, eczema and psoriasis. I tell her that my eight-year-old daughter has eczema, and that nothing seems to work. ‘She should try using the noni lotion and body balm every day,’ she counsels, explaining that her ‘little guy’, baby Hart, also has eczema. ‘But if I put it on religiously every day, his skin is just beautiful. Email me and let me know,’ she adds, giving me her email address.
I admit I’m sceptical – less about the wondrous powers of noni than about the idea that Miranda Kerr would ever reply to my email. Two days later, I write to say that after explaining they needed to be ‘used religiously’, my daughter has insisted on taking the products to church.
Miranda replies within 18 minutes.
‘Hi Laura! I’m so glad you reached out! How cute is your daughter! Adorable!’ She finishes with a smiley face emoji. Now that really is service with a smile.