The Oil Rush
Buzzing in beauty are organic oils – for face, for body, for nails and for hair. Oils have been used since mankind basically and are now experiencing a massive resurgence. Oils nourish, hydrate, heal and balance the skin no batter what the skin type is. Contrary to belief they don’t clog up your pores. So don’t be intimidated by thinking you will end up looking like a spotty teenager – you won’t – instead will have gorgeously hydrated skin. And unlike the majority of what you can buy in beauty department stores these products are natural – ie free from artificial ingredients and full of organic goodness. As this winter has been especially harsh oils came to the rescue and nourish my skin.
The trick is to massage the oil into your face in circular movements – therefore stimulating the blood flow of your skin. Rodin facial oil was developed by a make up artist. As you can imagine models do many shows during fashion week and need to be made up in the minimum of time possible. Travelling, working crazy hours, cleansing and reapplying (crazy!) make up to their skin can have negative impact, hence make up artists often travel with some Rodin Oil in their make up bag to rescue the models skin. This product comes with a hefty price tag so below are some products that are a bit more affordable.
I really rate Kiehls midnight recovery oil – it smells delicious and is absorbed really quickly. Recently I tried out Josie Maran which you can use on hair, face, cuticles you name it. Great for travelling as it is multi use product. It is basically pure argan oil so really delicious stuff. When I went skiing a couple of weeks ago I bought the Clarins blue orchid oil. from a knowledgeable swiss pharmacy sales assistant. She was so right in advising me this bestselling oil. It is my current favourite as the botanical fragrance puts you in a very relaxed state of mind before going to sleep and the 100% natural ingredients (rosewood, patchouli, blue orchid & hazelnut oil) do their best over night! In the morning I add 2 drops of this into my moisturizer to add extra hydration. Since last week i have been using Aurelia Cell Repair night oil which has been a delight, see my blog post on this brand here. Finally I am also a massive moroccan oil fan to keep my hair in check and have been known to drag liters home with me from the pop up store at cosmoprof in Bologna.
Have you got any favourite oils you simply love?
Treat your skin like silk
One of my favourite blogs intothegloss has put up this great little cleansing video featuring french skin expert & facialist in new york Isabelle Bellis. It features great tips like massaging your face endless and treating your skin just like silk. If only we all had her gorgeous cheekbones..!
Last week I met the inspiring founder of Aurelia skincare, Claire Vero. Her passion and enthusiasm for the brand she set up herself was completely infectious. Being a beauty industry insider myself I know how hard it is to set up a new brand, so my respect goes out to her. Also great to see a newcomer in a market which is basically dominated by the big players like Unilever, L’Oreal, P&G and Beiersdorf who own the majority of the skin brands you see in store. In luxury skincare there is more brand diversity but it is still a very competitive market to enter.
Claire saw the effects dermatology can have on improving peoples lives first hand, when she worked at GSK. Her idea was to incorporate science & botanical ingrdients to get the most effective products. Probiotics on one side and botanics (sourced from Africa) on the other side provide the ingredients of the range.
I tried the antioxidant and omega-rich cell repair night oil and was pleasantly surprised. The fragrance relaxed me with essential oils of neroli, lavender, rose and mandarin. The next morning my skin felt hydrated, fresh and not a bit greasy. Happy skin equals good morning vibes so I have been happily applying this every day and night.
Dream away with the little video below Aurelia did to highlight their african ingredients.
Aurelia Cell Repair Night Oil
Shop it at aurelia.com and at net-a-porter.com.
Beauty from the inside out
Beauty comes from the inside out. What you eat is what you are. I therefore try to avoid processed food which is not always possible of course.. Luckily I’m addicted to fruit and veg. I love avocados, nuts, seeds, spinach, coconut juice and bananas all of which have packed goodness in them, especially for skin. There are a couple of other ingredients which can make a real difference, according to a recent article in the Edit Magazine by Net-a-porter about LA wellbeing. LA has reinvented healthy living with a juice bar and yoga school on every street corner. They have a point though as even if you only incorporate a couple of these items in your daily diet you will over time notice the difference in your complexion, nails and hair . I have tried lots of recipes from the website GOOP (aka Gwyneth Paltrow) – they are all super healthy and tasty, highly recommend them. Check the ‘magic’ ingredients out below:
Kale: The green of all greens – add to salads, stir-fries and soups – Spinach is also rich in anti oxidants.
Bee pollen: Another top antioxidant that has the additional benefit of helping to relieve allergy symptoms – Manuka honey has many healing and preventative properties
Acai berries: This superfruit is packed with antioxidants – try Goji berries too.
Lucuma: A natural sweetener you can use in place of sugar. Honey works a trick too in teas/cakes etc.
Maca powder: A Peruvian root that is the new guarana – a potent energy source. Ginger is full of goodness – you can chop it up with honey and drink it as tea or use it in salads/curries etc. All root vegetables are good – try sweet potato.
Chia seeds: High in Omega 3 and numerous minerals, add to anything, from porridge to dessert. All nuts (uncoated/unsugared/unsalted) contain good fats. Healthy snacking!
Flax seeds: Fantastic for digestion, mix whole flax seeds into smoothies, porridge and granola.
Greens powder: Other than real greens, this is one of the most important things you can add to your diet – mix the powder into your daily smoothie.
Coconut oil: Instead of reaching for butter, try using this – it’s a far healthier fat. Make sure it is unrefined.
Green tea: contains the anti oxidant EGCG. All of the EGCG comes from green tea grown in fields on the Korean island of Jeju, which has the optimal climate for the most potent tea leaves.
Ginseng: Used in traditional Eastern medicine, ginseng has many health and beauty benefits and is only found naturally in a few places in the world. In skin care, this herbal root has rejuvenating effects and can help restore the skin’s moisture balance, fighting signs of aging and hyper pigmentation. (by the way ginger is a different plant than any of the types of ginseng root)
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.