From the moment I opened my first package from Mahalo skincare I knew I was in for a treat. The package included a personal hand written note on a bamboo card along with etched bamboo bottles and jars carved with the familiar shapes of the Hawaiian Islands. The packaging caught my attention and I knew I had stumbled upon something special. Then I opened the jars and began to experiment and experience what was inside – concentrated, potent and complex formulations that work. Being from Hawaii myself Mahalo had immediate relevance as the products perfectly reflect the beauty of nature that is abundant on the islands. If you’ve ever visited you know that the essence of Hawaii stays with you after you leave. With it’s tropical ingredients and exotic scents Mahalo connects me back to the magic of the Islands. But as I got to know the products, ingredients and Maryna much better I’ve learned this is not just a line with a tropical theme, Mahalo has the intention, purity and the power to heal (skin and body). Together with the community of Spa Superheroes we selected our July Hero Product, Pele Mask because of it’s therapeutic effect on the skin. But smoothing a few drops of Vacation Glow (Mahalo’s newest product) on my arms and chest has the ability to instantly improve my mood. I could go on about each product in the small (but growing) collection. This interview, a result of several in-depth conversations with Maryna Kracht, the founder and force behind the brand, reveals the origins of Mahalo and why we should all be on the lookout for what’s coming next from this conscious luxury beauty brand.
Behind the Scenes
JAVA Skin Care found Spa Heroes and I’m so glad they did. The moment I received its coffee-infused body serum, I called up owner Stephanie Additon at her Rhode Island café right away, absolutely smitten with her Hero Product. As she spoke with pure glee about coffee, it was clear that she bottles her love for the bean and its glowing effects into each and every luscious vial of Java’s Double Shot Body Serum, our June product selection. It’s bright, uplifting, energetic, clear and effective – the very essence of its maker.
Innersense Organic Beauty believes that hairstyling is a healing modality. I recently made a trip to their Bay Area headquarters/salon to chat with Greg and Joanne Starkman, the enlightened power couple behind the brand. Sitting in the salon’s meditation room (yes, that’s right – meditation room!), I was captivated by their views on hair (it can hold energy, emotion and history) and hair cutting and styling (a holistic healing art). I left the conversation not only energized by their heartfelt views but also with a much better understanding of how to achieve healthy, gorgeous hair and tap into my own “inner sense.”
Sometimes it’s Spa Heroes that discovers other hard-working, mission-minded companies, but it’s always fun when they discover us. Wendi found Spa Heroes and was initially attracted to our clearly defined position on toxic ingredients. As I got to know her, every single time we communicated, be it in writing or on the phone I could hear her passion for sharing her 100% natural perfumes with the world. While I loved her product from the start, Spa Heroes delivers products for hair, skin and sun. But perfume certainly speaks to beauty so we made an exception to the rule (and birthed Beauty Heroes along the way), offering Empower as a special limited release Mother’s Day gift. Wendi and I both have 5 year-old sons and feel that adding the honor and experience of being a mom to our lives has been nothing short of empowering, so this partnership just made sense. I have learned how much effort it takes to craft and formulate a truly safe, chemical-free perfume from Wendi. To me, she is nothing short of heroic.
When I first connected with Tricia Trimble, the founder of Suntegrity, I was taken aback by the pure intention I felt coming through her voice. I also found a special connection through her story – how losing her mother to skin cancer led her to start Suntegrity and make a safe sun care collection of the highest quality in her honor. Having lost my mom around the same time Tricia lost hers, I sensed that we were meant to be introduced! Then, once I tested Tricia’s 3-in-1 moisturizer, sunscreen and primer, I was amazed. It felt like so much more than sun protection. Since working with Suntegrity I have discovered that this small but mighty brand has an incredibly loyal following of devotees. I am now thrilled to be counted among them and to have the opportunity to share this heroic product – and its maker – with you.
I first visited the Bottega Organica shop on Christopher Street on a very cold day in December, during a whirlwind trip to New York City. I remember stepping off the windy West Village street and entering the store and seeing its reclaimed wood displays of luxurious glass bottles filled with golden oils. As I tested the different products on my hand, I could both see and feel the rich texture of the oils and smell the pure plant aromas of olive, chamomile, cucumber, orange and, my favorite, vanilla. I knew I’d stumbled on something special. – Jeannie Jarnot
“Plants are the strongest, anti-aging tool we have,” says Laurel Shaffer, founder of her namesake flower-and-herb-based, organic facial care line. Based in Northern California, Laurel takes extreme care in channeling that ethos into every gorgeous product – including this month’s featured Antioxidant Facial Serum.
Mio Skincare, a rarity in the spa-beauty industry, focuses exclusively on body care. Recently, we spoke to Jill Dunk (her fellow co-founders Sian, Tanya and Kathy reside in the UK), about Mio’s commitment to helping women achieve “fit skin” in all phases of life, and about January’s featured product, Future Proof Firming Active Body Butter…
When Phia founder and formulator, Michelle Roark, was training for her long-awaited Olympic debut in 2006, her coach suggested she visualize her success on the slopes by using all five senses. “I could hear success. See it. Touch It. Taste It. But I couldn’t smell it,” says Roark. “I had no idea what it smelled like to ski well.“
Age Defense For Luminous Eyes – Spa Heroes’ November 2014 Expert Selection – is the creation of Dan Fryda, founder of Spa Technologies International, and a self-described “merman.” Dan is widely recognized within the spa industry as a pioneer in the research and development of skincare products based on the restorative and antioxidant properties of seaweed. We recently caught up with Dan, on land, to talk about his passion for the sea…