Smells like whiskey & gin
A fragrance brand which is anti beauty hall. I like! The thought of beauty halls fills me with fear and loathing. I visit them frequently to check on new products, launches, fixturing, lay out, promotions etc. But I find that browsing and trying products with aggressive sales focused staff can turn into a highly stressful experience. An almost panic attack at Bloomingdales in New York comes to mind when the sales girl pushed me in the Bobbi Brown chair and I was not allowed out until she had turned me into a Russian Hooker Full On Make Up Face – and I thought Bobbi Brown was about no make up look? How wrong could I be?!
Hence I prefer to shop at Liberties where the staff are lovely or specialised stores like Nose in Paris (see previous post). Another brand obviously thinks the same way. Commoditygoods focuses on the fact that you cannot actually understand a fragrance when it it squirted on a piece of paper and wafted in front of you under the glaring hot lights of a busy beauty department. Fragrance needs to be tested on your own skin to see if it actually works for you. So they have come up with a test of your favourite 10 fragrances of which are sent to you to try. From these you can test which one works best for you. Same principle as Nose in Paris. Not only have they worked with one of the best fragrance houses in France to create their fragrances with names like Whiskey, Gin, Paper, Tea and Gold. They have also worked with a great design agency as the packaging is beautiful and simple. I especially like the use of white and rose gold for the ‘for her’ fragrances. Check their video out: http://vimeo.com/63301641#at=2.
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.
Chanel – Les Exclusives
I cannot wait to get my hands on these little beauties – Les Exclusives Collection by Chanel. How divine – imagine a whole row of them on your bathroom shelf? The one I would most like to try is Beige – it just sounds divine. Named after one of the favourite colours of Coco Chanel Beige is inspired by a fruity, sensual fragrance. See below the super sweet Chanel Flower cart that is currently positioned in front of their pop up shop in Covent Garden, Chanel Beige nail polish and Chanel Beige fragrance.