There’s no question about it: Natural beauty is booming, and in the grand scheme of things, this is a very good thing for all of us. It signals a movement towards greater awareness, discernment, transparency and advocacy. It’s pushing conventional personal care companies to clean up their act, and even if they never win clean beauty awards, they’re making progress in the right direction, removing the most harmful ingredients and trumpeting their green initiatives, steering the masses to consider natural the new normal. It’s a sign of the times – we’re waking up and demanding better quality from brands. Yay, us.But, let’s be honest. We also know that natural is loosely defined, and since greenwashing is so much easier than becoming a natural beauty formulator, many brands have mastered the “look and feel” of natural, but don’t have the formula integrity to back it up. So, while they may get to hang out with the pros in the Naturals section, they haven’t earned their stripes.
When I stumble upon a new skincare or beauty brand, I start with Why. “Why did this Founder have to create this brand?” More often than not, there’s a compelling story that captivates me, and I immediately want to share it with the Beauty Heroes Tribe. But, when I first discovered LINNÉ Botanicals, my first question wasn’t Why?; it was How? I just couldn’t wrap my mind around how this founder created a brand so luxurious, with formulas that were as unique as they were effective. LINNÉ Botanicals was unlike anything else I’ve come across. In fact, when I first applied this month’s Hero product duo, PURIFY Face Wash and ACTIVATE Body Wash, I told Jenna Levine, the Founder of LINNÉ Botanicals, that I simply could not choose between the two! They were both Hero worthy and I felt they both deserved the spotlight. So, in the first time in Beauty Heroes history, we celebrate a double feature Beauty Discovery that is pure, effective and unique.
Susan Jane White isn’t just our newest Brand Ambassador, she is my newest health and wellness inspiration and Hero. The former President of the Oxford University gastronomy society, journalist, cookbook author and long-time Beauty Heroes subscriber and fan has been connecting food, health and beauty in the most delightful ways with her wit, sass and deliriously delicious approach to healthy living. She brings a heaping serving of humor to the table and the page every time, helping us all take it all just a little less serious so we can get back into the true joy of healthy cooking. I highly recommend her two wheat, dairy and gluten-free cookbooks Tasty. Naughty. Healthy. Nice and The Virtuous Tart that are both chock full of inventive and approachable recipes and are even more fun to read than they are to prepare. Can you tell, I’m a fan? I know you will be too, just watch, read on and enjoy meeting Susan Jane White.
Indie Beauty Expo, known in the industry as simply iBE, has quickly evolved into one of the most exciting and engaging consumer beauty events in our industry. Co-founded by Jillian Wright and Nader Nayemi-Rad, the event puts a spotlight on … Continued
Svetlana Zakharevich, Founder of GRESSA, is the first to tell you there’s no such thing as a miracle in a jar, which makes her stunning beauty and lit from-within, radiant skin seem even more enviable, because you know she comes by it honestly. In fact, Svetlana has dedicated her career to demystifying healthy, glowing skin. While earning her PreMed degree, she discovered that the topic of nutrition was barely broached, so she pursued degrees in natural sciences in biochemistry to offset this gap in her education. What she learned through her studies is that total body wellness begins in the gut through a healthy diet and a balanced biome. A love for all things glamorous happily collided with her passion for science, and she set out on a mission to formulate products to highlight and support healthy skin. Her skincare-first makeup line is a range of natural skincare and color formulations that nourish the complexion, illuminate its best features and wears like a second skin. With each product taking years to perfect, Svetlana takes us behind the scenes and reveals her inspiration for her brand and shares the philosophy that has made GRESSA a cult-favorite among the most discerning audience – celebrities, makeup artists and beauty editors. Meet Svetlana.
By now, we’ve all heard about the myriad benefits of antioxidants in food and skincare. We know that the vibrant reds, oranges, purples and blues in our fruits and veggies equal antioxidant potency, and we know that ‘free radicals’ are … Continued
A distinguishing factor of Indie Beauty brands is that more often than not, products are formulated based on the founders’ personal values. SkinOwl Founder Annie Tevelin so perfectly demonstrates this in the relaunch of her Hero product, Beauty Drops PM. … Continued
When it comes to clean beauty, there’s more that unites us than divides us. I have the privilege of collaborating with a great number of founders of clean beauty brands, and indeed, while their success stories are as varied as their products themselves, there’s one common theme that underlies them all: a steadfast commitment to the highest possible ingredient quality and formulation integrity. After all, this is what makes their products Hero worthy. We know that all ingredients are not created equal. Where, how and when botanical ingredients are procured is the critical X factor in natural beauty. This is often a proud point of differentiation between brands, and formulators hold their ingredient partners in the highest esteem (and close to their chest!) But, when it comes to preservatives in natural beauty, the conversation can turn from proud to protective quite quickly. Not because there’s anything to hide – we’re all in this together – but because there’s so much debate about what works best, which preservatives in natural beauty are most effective for various kinds of formulas, what is the acceptable PAO (Period After Open) range, and what are general best practices to guarantee the perfect trifecta: peak potency, maximum shelf life and the absence of harmful chemicals.
When I think about how to be achieve super hydrated skin, images of water come to mind. Splashing my face in the morning, drinking my required 32 liters per day, even spritzing my skin with a refreshing hydrosol. What doesn’t come to my mind is oil. Oils deliver many important benefits to the skin, but they don’t penetrate into the deepest cellular layers the way water, or an emulsion that contains water as an ingredient, does. While oils are excellent to nourish and protect the top layer of our skin, lock in our natural moisture and prevent water from evaporating, oils do not actually hydrate. Only water can do this. But one needs the other, which is why oil and water are the two most fundamental ingredients for healthy skin.
Connected by our shared love for Hawaii, Maryna and I have long dreamt of a girls trip to the island of Kaua’i, the home and inspiration for her artisan beauty brand, Mahalo Skin Care. As we planned for our third collaboration, the timing was right to make this dream a reality. I flew to meet Maryna and for 4 sacred days we escaped the daily to-do’s of our ordinary lives and ventured into the lush and sometimes precarious terrain of the island Maryna now calls home. Days of hiking, swimming, deep breathing and absorbing the energy of the island led to incredible breakthroughs and divine inspiration for both of us, some of which we share in the video below. Perhaps one of my greatest revelations was how the land can hold space for our personal transformation. While I’ve always known that the island has so many gifts of nature to offer – botanicals, ocean, indigenous wisdom, and Mana (the word for the energy the Hawaiians derived from the land and nature) – I witnessed first hand how these bountiful gifts have offered Maryna a safe space for her evolution.