Category: all beauty
Bio Beauty in Brooklyn
A movement in brooklyn can be detected – organic skincare made by beauty lovers themselves with the least amount of ingredients possible. Counteracting the synthetic, science driven skincare are mavericks who are going back to basics and discovering essential ingredients and techniques which deliver high quality organic skincare.
SWBasics of Brooklyn (formerly known as Sprout)
Small batches are produced in a communical space on the Greenpoint waterfront by Adine Grigore and her fiancee. Originally, the products were just for herself as she has sensitive skin. Other people soon loved them and bigger batches were produced. Her vision is that if you want great skin you should not want to hurt yourself or the planet to get it. All the products are made from scratch using only whole, high-potency ingredients. Less isn’t just more; less is everything. Using fewer ingredients means more potent skincare. No cheap synthetics or exotic fillers are used which makes the product more likely to be safe on senstive skin. That’s why everything we sell only has 5 ingredients or less. And they still make you look amazing and smell pretty. SW Basics support sustainable agriculture by buying only from organic, Fair Trade, or small-farm sources. The victorian style black and white packaging makes for a beautiful bathroom staple.
Inspired by holistic healing Angela Shore studied at Kerala Ayurveda Academy and the School of Ayurveda & Panchakarma in Kerala, India. This together with Ayurvedic principles and Native American shamanism she createred Jiva Apoha, her line of all-natural face and body oils that she blends and ships out of her Brooklyn Heights apartment. All products ar made with herbs, flowers and essential oils. The packaging is stunning too and reminds me of Navaho indians rummaging around in the wild.
Soapwalla creator Rachel Winard is super passionate about natural skin care. “If I can’t create a product that’s safe and effective with only natural ingredients, I won’t release the product,” she says. She crafts her line of soaps, body oils, and more—including an ingenius cream deodorant —at Gowanus’ Old American Can Factory, a communal building filled with artists and artisans. “I adore Brooklyn. It’s home,” she says. “I love walking to work; I love running into neighbours every time I’m out and about.” Their fragrances are really fresh and invigorating.
Skinnyskinny started from a strong belief that organic and eco friendly bath & body products should work as well (if not better) than conventional products. The philosphy is to keep the products simple where they need to be simple (no synthetics, no sulfates, no artificial preservatives) and not skimping on certified organic ingredients. Packaging is recycled, reclaimed, and sustainable. And with very few exceptions every single product is made by them in their Brooklyn, NY workshop. Skinnskinny’s facility and products have been registered with the FDA are members of the Organic Trade Association. Most of the products are vegan, and all of our products are cruelty-free. I am a big fan of their dry shampoo.
Phoenix herbal skincare is formulated from the healing energy of plants, their fragrance, and beneficial properties. Handmade with fresh local plants of the northeast and organically grown herbs. All ingredients are organic and locally sourced when possible. Irina Adam is the founder and creator. She started Phoenix Botanicals in 2005, after apprenticing several years with local herbalists Robin Rose Bennett and Lata Kennedy and working at NYC’s Flower Power Herbs & Roots. Irina also worked for much of a decade in ethnobotany research and indigenous culture preservation, which exposed her to many cultural and therapeutic uses of plants. I especially like their lip balms which you squeeze up out of a carton tube.
A boutique fragrance brand and studio based in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, created by Anne McClain, a graduate of the Grasse Institute of Perfumery in southern France. They specialise in perfumes, oil roll-ons and candles. Their products are composed of the highest quality natural and synthetic ingredients in bases of organic carrier oils, pure alcohol, and distilled water. All of their products are carefully crafted in small batches and bottled by hand by our in-house production team.
Graves is a beauty product formulator, a star facialist, a herbalist and a natural beauty entrepreneur. She works with the Triangulator diagnostic method. Her website reads: “Other skin-care lines that are holistic or organic don’t necessarily follow herbalist principles. And not every herbalist sees skin as their primary focus, so that’s where I come in,” she says. She is known in New York as the “Pimple Whisperer.”
Get your liploss fix with this organic brand set up by rocker/model and new mommy Theo Kogan. As the singer for bands including the legendary all-female Lunachicks and Theo And The Skyscrapers, Theo is known for her over-the-top makeup styles. She has modeled for Calvin Klein, Burberry and Kenneth Cole (to name a few) and has acted in film, television and continues to perform in avant-garde theater all over the world. Armour’s moisturising formula is long wearing, cruelty free and environmentally friendly, with a beautiful range of colors. Formulated to stay on and moisturise with a base of: Shea Butter, Avocado, Mango and Olive butters and oils, Grape seed oil, Vitamin E and is paraben free.
If you find yourself in NYC good shops to visi are Miomia in Williamsburg, Homebody Boutique and Diana Kane in Park Sope, and Shen Beauty in Carroll Gardens.
The Art of the Illustrated Nail
Need some nail inspiration? Check out:
1- Theillustratednail.tumblr.com – This London based nail art walhalla do loads of shoots and upload their faves on their tumblr and instagram.
2 – Wahnails – Another nail art inspiration staple is of course the reknowned Dalston based nail art salon. They also have a shop in the basement of Topshop and seem to be flying all over the world displaying their nail art talents in various pop up stores. Check them on instagram too.
3 – Sophy Robson – Luxury nail artist as her title currently reads. Sophy has worked with all the big titles Vogue (UK, French, Russian and Japanese), Vanity Fair, Glamour, Grazia, Elle etc. Her nails are always impressive and push boundaries.
Especially loving these nail art themes: holographic – studs – tie die – ombre – dots – tribal – monochrome – galaxy.
All images from theillustratednail.tumblr, wahnails.com, instragram, sosoflynails.tumblr.com and pinterest.
One of my favourite beauty stores in New York is Bigelow Chemists in Greenwich Village. It specialises in natural remedies, bath & body product. It’s really old school (established 1838) and makes you relive the times when as a child you were mesmerized by the choice, smells and packaging of products at the local chemist. I was anyway! I would go to the local drugstore around the corner and spend hours analysing, sniffing and admiring the beauty products. I would usually buy a soap as that was all I could afford when I was 8 years old. When I discovered the Body Shop I would spend my whole Saturday browsing their shelves and buying all the banana conditioner and carrot face cream (do you remember these products?!) I could afford. So when I visit a good old chemist now I cannot resist a good ‘smooch about’. Bigelow is not only situated in a very old building and it also has it’s own beauty range which is now for sale in the UK at Liberties (hooray!).
Another amazing chemist on the upper east side in New York is Zitomer – if you are looking for niche little brand they are sure to have it. I browse their new in section often just to see what they are listing.
Ciate is releasing chalkboard nails on April 23 in the U.K. The set will retail for £18 ($27) and contain the chalkboard polish, a topcoat, and four liquid chalk pens in white, pink, blue, and green. Exciting!
Japanese Blossom & Lady Gaga Nail Art
Would spring finally be in the air? I saw some shots on instagram of Japanese cherry blossom and immediately got inspired to do soft pink nails. I think the whiter the better – to get that super soft chalky pink look. Topshop Milkshake & Essie Petal Pink are my favourite, together with a Repossi ring would be nice if I ever win the lottery…
In Tokyo they love their nail art and spend huge amounts and time decorating these little treasures. Salons offer the most complicated designs you can think of and even office workers have bejewelled talons. Last year I visited an amazing nail shop in where Lady Gaga has her nails made in Daikayama http://ayafukudanail.com/. The designs were very detailed, super stiletto shapes with chains and lots of embellisment for example. Prices matched the intricate designs and were sky high. But in Japan not only pop stars but even office workers have nail art done. Check out ‘every day’ salon http://pomponner.jp/gallery.html.
Fresh make up bags
Finding a good make up bag is not always easy. I tend to have at least 5 bags on the go as I travel a lot. One for day-to-day, one for party make up, one for festival make up, one for staying one or two nights, one for holidays, one for all my electrical plugs etc. I love see through bags so you can see at a glance what’s in the bag. Muji and Boots do good ones but they are quite utilitarian, I would love a bit of colour (neon?!) on them. So when I spotted this bag at Simone Rocha I was cooing and ahhn immediately. Other fresh little bags ideas above.
Face Architecture with the Sculptor
Sculpting has been trending for a while; more and more products are coming out to help achieve this look. It a way of defining the face to give more depth, accents and highlights. It can transform the face (creating cheekbones for example) without heavy make up being required. Some people call it (cosmetic) Face Architecture. Tom Ford’s sculpting pallet is legendary and used by many make up artists. The sheer, light shade can be used on the upper cheekbones to reflect the light, which in turn brightens and lifts the face. The dark shade, used under your cheekbones, defines and contours cheekbones while staying invisible to the naked eye. But not being a pro make up artist myself I find it difficult to use as find I either use too much colour or don’t get the effect I am after. I love applying make up with my fingertips, but this formula definitely needs a pro synthetic make up brush for application. Synthetic make up brushes don’t absorb the formula like a natural brush would do, hence they are best for foundations/sculpting products. You also need to have well moisturised skin beforehand. The pallets I prefer to use have a light (& forgivingly) creamy formula more like the Nars multiple, which you can really blend into the skin. Benefit and Sleek make up have even brought out products which combine contouring, highlighting and blush.
See pics of my favourite sculpting products by Topshop, & Other Stories, Tom Ford, Nars and Sleek. Below 2 videos by Charlotte Tilbury. The first is a guest video for Lisa Eldridge’s website in which she explains how to achieve a beautiful sculpted look at the shoot for French Vogue on Kate Moss. In the second video she highlights how to get the look created for Tom Ford AW13 show.
Obviously super excited about the Bowie exhibition in London at the V&A museum. I am still in the gorgeous snowy mountains but I am already looking forward to being back in the big smoke and visiting this very special exhibition. The exhibition runs from 23 March – 11 August 2013. It’s the first international retrospective of the extraordinary career of David Bowie featuring . David Bowie more than 300 objects that include handwritten lyrics, original costumes, fashion, photography, film, music videos, set designs and Bowie’s own instruments. Bowie inspired many people all over the globe with his forward thinking amazing designs, music and looks. So here are some pics to get you inspired!
Nars Lippy video by Quentin Jones
Last month I blogged about the talented Quentin Jones, who makes cool collage style videos. This month we are in for anohter treat. She has done a new video together with renowned make up artist Lisa Eldrige for Nars. The interactive video lets you decide which of the 8 new Nars lip pencil colours you would like to be featured. The models in the video are Sarah Ruba, the singer from the cool Canadian electronic band ‘New Look’ (she toured recently toured with the XX) and fashion icon (& designer & stylist ) Catherine Baba who is really into 20’s and 30’s old school hollywood fashion. As for the formulation of the pencils – it is really good: high pay off and creamy texture. I highly recommend them. Check the video and these beauties out!
Tuesday Video Day – Cut & Paste by Damien Blottiere
I am skiing this week in France which means lots of snow fun with friends, beautiful mountains, the delicious obligatory french pharmacie visit (more about that later in the week!) and of course loads of cheese fondue (yummm) – but also french mags – I usually buy French Vogue, french AD (architectural digest) and something fun and light like Gala or Point de Vue. In the March edition of french Vogue there is an exquisite beauty feature called Liftings Mecaniques (about how to achieve great skin without cosmetic surgery) by photographer Damien Blottière. He reworked all the images, shot cuts and then applied the overlays. This is a technique he has perfected over the years which gives a surreal effect, reminding of collages, illusions and distortions. It reminded me of Dahli or Matisse. Damien sees himself as an imagemaker or collagist rather than a photographer, even though he shoots all the work he cuts up. He studied fashion design at the École Duperré in Paris and following that he assisted fashion editor Yasmine Eslami, working on titles such as Purple, Libération Style and Mixte. Cathy Edwards, the former fashion editor at Dazed & Confused, spotted his potential and gave him his first commission. On the website of french vogue (vogue.fr) they have put up a video of how he achieved the surreal looks. It is directed by Chris Roman and Aurelien Petit.
Click to see the video on: vogue fr – damien blottiere and see below another video Damien did, aptly called ‘Cut and Paste’.