Tuul Care: Natural Grooming for Men

Cosmetics for men? And all natural? It’s a combination you definitely don’t come across too often. You might even think along the lines of ’I’m a man and I don’t need face cream!’ — well, the men’s grooming brand Tuul from Estonia will change your mind. Tuul is dedicated to taking good care of men’s skin and beards with their range of natural pampering products. The founders duo, Kädi and Kaarel, shared their story with us. 

Words: Johanna Raudsepp

Kädi and Kaarel, founders of Tuul. / Photo by Tõnu Tunnel. 

Kädi and Kaarel, founders of Tuul. / Photo by Tõnu Tunnel. 

I hope you’re still not tired of this question, but what’s the origin story of Tuul?

We say Tuul (‘wind’ in Estonian) grew out of a personal necessity, but if we delve a bit deeper,  then I [Kädi] was pregnant with our little daughter. When you’re expecting, you’re much more sensitive to all kinds of scents. Kaarel had just bought a well-known brand’s perfume, and when he had sprinkled it on in the bathroom, I actually felt nauseous [inhaling the scent], and asked him why won’t he make his own perfume without any added chemicals. He was taken aback by my snappy comment, but the next morning I woke up next to a man with dark circles under his eyes. Turns out he hadn’t slept one bit, and had figured it all out — to start a grooming brand for men.

You are a brand dedicated to men’s skincare. Which essential skincare products should every man have?

Actually, we are not only focused on skincare, but also keeping one’s hair and beard in good and healthy shape. There are products every man needs, like shampoo and deodorant (coming soon), and then there are products that make you feel good and pampered, like beard oils. Every man deserves to be spoiled from time to time. 

"He was taken aback by my snappy comment, but the next morning I woke up next to a man with dark circles under his eyes. Turns out he hadn't slept one bit, and had figured it all out - to start a grooming brand for men."

Tuul men's grooming range, 2017. 

Tuul men's grooming range, 2017. 

Who is Tuul?

Tuul is someone who cares.

Developing a new brand is surely not easy. What has been your favourite adventure along way? 

Our favourite days must be the days when we are in direct contact with our customers — meeting people, receiving their feedback, finding out what their needs are. The research and development process is also very exciting with each product — finding out what the best ingredients are, how should the result smell, feel and look. We’re always excited for collaborations as well — like the travel pouch we did together with a local leather manufacturer, Vanatool. 

"Every man deserves to be spoiled from time to time." 

At Savant, we pay close attention to making environmentally conscious choices when it comes to the products we use. How is Tuul sustainable in its day-to-day life?

We’re all in for organic choices. The ingredients of our upcoming products will include biologically certified herbal extracts, and the scents will be as local as possible. The nature from our region has a lot to offer — birch, juniper, peppermint are only a few examples. We prefer glass, aluminium, and paper when it comes to packaging, whereas all are recyclable materials. 

What’s in store for Tuul Care fans in 2017?

By the end of the year, we hope to have reached the next level. The plans for 2018 are even greater. We like to think big! 

You can find Tuul at https://tuul.care/

Behind the Brand: Getting Under the Skin of Supermood’s Holistic Approach

Supermood is a holistic natural beauty brand from Finland, founded by Anne and Joni Kukkohovi, a charismatic duo and life partners. Both have background working in advertising and were settled in the bustling media industry until a few years back, when Anne, a former model and current TV host, was bidding adieu to her rewarding career, to set a base for something more close to heart — beauty with holistic approach. 

Anne’s Nordic, but uncharacteristically lively character is a measured yin to Joni’s soft-spoken, calculated yang, whereas the couple is a living proof to the statement 'team work makes the dream work'. The duo essentially represents the core values of its brand — as I should know first-hand, being Scandinavian calls for a reserved, demure nature, which they bring to the table with an unusual, whimsical twist. 

I shared a friendly coffee and a chat with the couple at Maison Assouline, my favourite secret hideaway in London, and explored the way they think — although the duo still adamantly insists I avoid the O-word — organic beauty and its role in the cosmetics industry today… 

Egoboost: 'Inner Beauty' smoothie with nutritional supplement powder of Chaga and collagen.

Egoboost: 'Inner Beauty' smoothie with nutritional supplement powder of Chaga and collagen.

Anne (A), what’s your personal relationship with the beauty industry?

I’ve been breathing fashion and beauty since I was a teenager. First time, I was 12 and I saw ELLE magazine, that’s where it hit me. For years, I was a well-know model in Finland, and then I got into the advertising business. I have also been working as a TV host for many famous shows, such as ‘Finland’s Next Top Model’, and I’ve been an ambassador for different beauty brands before. Supermood is where everything combines — the communication, art direction, and my passion for beauty. I always knew I wanted to have my own brand at some point. 

Joni (J), what does your role as a Marketing Director at Supermood incorporate?

First of all, we are married, so it’s a family affair! We both have a background in advertising and we also met through the industry. Then, we worked at the same agency for a while, which wasn’t such a great idea. Soon after, Anne decided to go for the entrepreneur route. She is taking care of the product concepts and the vision of the brand, and understanding of what sort of beauty trends there are, and how to approach it. Therefore, my job is to interpret her vision and then execute, so I am in charge of the branding and marketing, but I still do work as a ECD (Executive Creative Director) at an advertising agency.

You started in 2014 from scratch.

Both nod in agreement. 

J: I think one of the things that really helped is our agency background in advertising. You’re used to story-telling, you have an idea [of what you want to produce], and then you just have to find the right people, brief them and direct the final outcome.

Joni and Anne Kukkohovi, founders of Supermood.  

Joni and Anne Kukkohovi, founders of Supermood.  

How does the whole process work with product concepts?

J: Firstly, Anne briefs the chemist at the factory, with some references and desired ingredients. Then what follows is that our chemists make samples and she gives feedback — this is too rich, too heavy, too intense, and so forth and so forth. The testing and trial-and-error lasts 4-6 rounds, until you find that product you’ve imagined. 

A: For me it is important that they understand, how I want the products to feel, what are the ingredients, expected texture, and time it takes to show effects. They also ask, if we want to have a long INCI (ingredient) list. Of course not, because the cosmetics we are doing are very pure and transparent, so we try to avoid anything extra.

The direction you have chosen with Supermood is (excuse me for the categorisation) organic or green beauty. How does it resonate with our cultural climate and the current beauty industry trends?

A: This is the present and future already ingrained in any other field, it’s in cars, in textiles, in design— it’s everywhere — so I don’t even emphasise the green aspect so much.

J: People often ask, what’s the one thing that sets us apart, but it’s never just that, it’s more about our approach to beauty. It’s not about some compound or secret ingredient. We wanted to build a brand for women who love prestige brands, and are accustomed to using premium luxury brands, but are conscious about green beauty and also the fact that most of the established beauty brands are synthetic. 

A: Unfortunately, there was not any kind of alternative for these women at the time, because most of the green beauty looks to be kind of home-made to an extent.

How do you see the industry change in the future?

J: We feel that in 10 years, it’s not about green beauty, it’s about just beauty. We have to be something else as a brand, not just organic beauty.

A:  The way we see it, in 10 years, all production will have a greener approach and a more conscious impact. What we do emphasise on, is the holistic approach.

Could you elaborate on the concept of ‘holistic beauty’?

A: Holistic beauty means that you have edible things, then we have a range of ‘therapeutic’ products, we aim to bring together a ‘holistic triangle’ of beauty, so it’s not merely one-dimensional. The world around us inspired us for such approach — you see people and they want to eat well and they want to take care of themselves in a 360-degree way. 

J: In the beginning it is about your skincare — what kind of things you put on your skin, whether it is artificial or organic, what gets into your system. That’s one part. Then it is about the edibles, what you put into your body as nutrition. Then the last part is, how do you sleep, how do you give your body time to recover. 

Beauty Sleep: youth restoring night cream. 

Beauty Sleep: youth restoring night cream. 

So that’s the holistic, conceptual approach. I saw a pillow in your range and then the moist for it…what’s the beauty pillow about?

A, J: This is also a part of the therapeutic aspect of the ‘holy triangle of beauty’, which comes with a scent for the pillow or bed linen. 

A: Coming up with product concepts doesn’t need to be always led by one way of thinking — calming herbs and florals, they have been used for years and years, but you wouldn’t think of featuring a pillow in a beauty range. 

What inspired you?

A: The idea came, when we were once staying at a hotel with huge and, by what they looked like, comfortable pillows, but when I woke up, I had deep ‘pillow lines’  (Anne illustrates theatrically, with bold gestures) all over my face. So the pillow I invented helps to avoid those lines and doesn’t give you any puffiness at all. When you think about it, you spend one third of your life in bed, so it is crucial to have special beauty equipment for bedtime. 

J: We got the idea when we read about this surgeon, who developed a pillow for post-surgery patients. Obviously when you’ve had something done, you cannot sleep on a regular pillow, because otherwise your face will become disfigured. He had designed this kind of pillow that distributes the pressure differently; it doesn’t impact on your face, or leave any lines on your face, as it does with your regular pillow. It was based on a study about how blood circulation goes into your face.

Who is the buyer the pillow is meant for? 

A: These niche items are for ‘beautyholics’, like me. I can make out the kind of people by looking in their eyes, sometimes they just grab the pillow and they don’t even talk to me, and then the others ask, ‘Why would you do this?’, and I would think, maybe it’s not exactly for you. 

"We aim to bring together a ‘holistic triangle’ of beauty, so it’s not merely one-dimensional. The world around us inspired us for such approach — you see people and they want to eat well and they want to take care of themselves in a 360-degree way." 

Who is that person who lives and breathes Supermood?

A: It is somebody who is in the radar of the new things, takes care of themselves; someone who is conscious about the natural environment and wants to do something about it, but also wants to look good and wants to look fashionable at the same time. I call it like the ‘W Hotel and Wholefoods person, or Net-A-Porter user, so this person is present all over the world. It’s not about age. It’s not about what ethnicity you represent. It’s not about where you live. It’s more about the way you think about things. 

When it comes to working with your partner… do you experience any creative clashes at all?

J: Constantly!

A: It hasn’t always been easy, to be honest. But I think the vision we have is the same. We are a young brand, so it always comes down to those big decisions and projects. But vision-wise we don’t have so many differences —

J: Artistic differences! 

A: But it’s more about, how to use time more efficiently and find the right deals. 

J: We are both hands-on engaged in our other projects, like TV and advertising, so time is our biggest challenge. When we do have a lot on the table, we always consider all the options and priorities. Often Anne says adamantly, ‘this is more important, and we have to go forward with it!’. They’re not exactly arguments, but a way of making out what’s actually important. 

And what saves you in those moments?

A: We are really passionate about the whole thing.

Meanwhile Anne tells a story about presenting to a bunch of male investors in a fancy, formal setting, whereas Anne, keeping her enthusiastic spirit, had invested a great deal of inner passion in storytelling. The reaction was the men going, ‘It’s just a beauty brand. Why are you so passionate about it?’, whilst Anne lost her temper explaining the passion comes from the fact that it’s her vision, and she has invested a lot of time and energy in it, ‘Of course I am passionate about it,’ Anne tells full of spark.

What brought you to London?

A: We are going to have a Space N K launch in December, which will be our biggest UK distributor. It’s a huge thing for us, as you have all the best boutique brands in there, so we are exploring the possibilities of publicising the launch and PR with them.

J: Other markets that we’ve been working with so far have had an incredible response. We are hoping that UK follows the same route, because it is such a big and important market. It is a priority for us to break through here. 

Anne boasts such a radiant, youthful glow that I unapologetically turn to her, asking whether she uses her own products. Her confident smile reveals there shouldn’t be a degree of doubt.

What’s the absolute must-have product from your range?

A: 1-minute facelift. It’s one of our key products, although we think that there is no one main product on the importance scale. It does exactly what it says effectively — it really tightens your face and skin up. We also sell it in the States.

J: It’s the most effective sculpting and lifting serum, which also happens to be everyone’s favourite. 

Egoboost: 1-minute facelift serum with Chaga. 

Egoboost: 1-minute facelift serum with Chaga. 

A: We also have an eye serum, ‘Eyes Wide Open’. [To illustrate its effectiveness], first showing it to Joni, I put it on one eye and I said, ’compare it to my other eye’, — he is really suspicious about everything — and he said: ‘It’s really bigger than the other one!’. So it is very effective. For that we used a local Finnish ingredient called Chaga [immune-boosting medicinal mushroom]. That’s one of the main ingredients we use. 

J: We do all the testing with Anne. As she said, I am fairly suspicious about claims of products. When we started, I wasn’t a big believer in organic cosmetics, so I told her strictly that it is adamant that our products are effective, it is not enough that we do great branding. That was like the first penny drop for me.

A: It’s still very few people, who want everything to be super clean, without any extra additives. We are not aiming for that, but the actual effectiveness. 

Egoboost: 'Eyes Wide Open' firming serum for the eye area. 

Egoboost: 'Eyes Wide Open' firming serum for the eye area. 

Where do you produce?

A: We found a local Finnish factory — despite exploring opportunities as far as up to Italy — but I wanted it to be closer to me to learn, too. They are the first Eco-Certified factory in Finland, so they know about that sort of [organic] cosmetics. 

It is, of course, very difficult to get those 100% pure components. Where do the ingredients come from?

A: Chaga comes from a city called Kauhava in Finland, and it is handpicked. The other ingredients are the produce of organic farming in different places around the world. It does depend on the climate a lot — when you have monsoon rain somewhere, it might affect some ingredients. They cannot assure the stability of the supply country, but therefore they make sure it at least feels the same. 

J: Chaga is basically forged — it grows wild on the trees and that’s the main reason why products with it cannot get eco-certified, because it’s not controlled by any agency, so it remains the type of product that you cannot classify as ‘certified or organic’, even though, in theory, it is found in its purest form. The EU legislation hasn’t quite figured it out, whether its a pharmaceutical, but through clinical tests it has been proven to be super effective.

A: Chaga has been used in folk medicine for thousands of years and also in Eastern countries, because it makes your skin really even. Also, when you consume it, it is really good for your immune system. It has a very strong effect — say, when you are taking antibiotics, then I would recommend using or consuming it. 

Egoboost: 'Beauty Chocolate', raw chocolate with collagen.  

Egoboost: 'Beauty Chocolate', raw chocolate with collagen.  

J: We feature it in some of the skincare products — we have a collagen and Chaga powder, which is a nutritional supplement that you can blend into your milkshake or smoothies, and also with collagen we have beauty chocolate, which is a raw chocolate.

I saw it! Yes, it is the most interesting product. What’s it about?

A: Everybody says that. Whispers to Joni, ‘now you hear it’. 

Laughter. Anne, it was your idea, of course. 

A: It’s raw chocolate, so we are not talking about organic chocolate, which is heated up. Raw chocolate is cold-pressed, and it’s really expensive to produce. Often the issue is that the price and quality of cocoa varies seasonally. 

J: When it comes to chocolate or coffee, it reacts to weather changes, which right away affects the price of chocolate. A lot of things are very expensive to produce, because you cannot have such volumes, where you could leverage the buying power. That’s why green beauty, as well as green fashion, is still highly priced. 

"Brands have to evolve over time, but at the moment, I think the more layers and perspective you have as a brand, it becomes actually more interesting rather than having this Bauhaus-aesthetic approach."

In today’s visual culture, branding is very important. Advertising background and knowing you target audience well surely works in your favour…

A: People usually want to categorise into either ‘organic’ or ‘normal’, meaning synthetic cosmetics category. We are organic, but that is secondary. On the ferries that are going between Finland and Estonia, they’ve put us next to Dior. That’s exactly the perfect way to explain it, ‘just place it where the good brands are’.

J: It is less to do with the fact that it is green and more to do with communication and how we build the story and tell it, but it doesn’t have to scream ‘green’ at the display. It has to look nice on your bathroom shelf or nightstand. It has to fit in with your other luxury cosmetics.

I have even gone for some beauty stuff only for the packaging, then found out later, ‘oh, it’s 98% bio-organic, too’. 

A: I remember one retailer telling me ‘I don’t care what’s in it, I take it!’, when they saw those pictures of what Joni did — illustrative mockup in 3D of all the range.

J: The first question is, ‘Is it appealing?’, when you see it in the store. Then the next question is, if it something that I would actually use for its utility.

Youth Glo: luxury peel with AHA acids and fruit extracts.

Youth Glo: luxury peel with AHA acids and fruit extracts.

I am totally in love with the packaging!

J: The appearance is a bit whimsical, we felt that green beauty is often strictly about the environment, using green hues. With such personal product that should reflect the user’s values, we wanted to give ourselves that permission to be funny. 

A: [It is] a little bit bold. Also flirty, because when you see all those lines that we have hidden in the packaging — if you find them, you find them. Those little messages. 

J: If we would have chosen kind of a minimalistic and clean, too rigid, approach, I am not sure that would be as much fun to do, it just wouldn’t be entirely ‘us’. If we don’t get that first reaction that it looks good, then it’s a lost case. 

There is this standard Scandinavian minimalism style and approach. Are these the end days?

A: There are so many brands doing this, so it’s already too repetitive. 

J: I think this [Maison Assouline] coffee shop is a good concept — the new and the old meets. The age of ultra design and ultra clean is getting old, in my opinion. In that sense, brands have to evolve over time, but at the moment, I think the more layers and perspective you have as a brand, it becomes actually more interesting rather than having this Bauhaus-aesthetic approach. 

Egoboost: 'Inner Beauty' supplement with Chaga and collagen.  

Egoboost: 'Inner Beauty' supplement with Chaga and collagen. 

Tell us an interesting story.

A: There was an online beauty retailer in California looking to buy our beauty chocolate — 2 pieces, which is a very small quantity. The argument was going on and on, because that comes without saying, sending them to California would have been much more expensive than the chocolate itself (8.00 euros per small chocolate bar). We were having this argument with her, because we couldn’t lose the money, when sending the package that far. It went on and on, and then we just told her to order the chocolate directly from our web store, if she really wants it, but we cannot sell 2 pieces of chocolate and pay for it ourselves. That’s how it goes, when you have a really small business and you don’t want to take the risk of losing the profit. 

J: The comfortable things for us are to work on the brand and on the products, but what we didn’t have experience with, when we got into advertising or out of advertising, is how to handle logistics worldwide. The fact that we are based in Finland, Helsinki, doesn’t make handling international shipping any easier. I think that’s a crucial part of starting your own brand — that it’s a learning curve every day.

What is on hold for the near future?

J: Hopefully, what this UK opportunity brings is that we get more exposure and find new partners to work with, that way we can also grow the business and a bigger audience. 

What are you missing?

A: We need some rest! I wouldn’t mind a nice holiday together…

That leaves Joni reminiscing about a personal father and son road trip in the States with their teenage son few years back, whilst Anne was working at the other end of the country in the midst of mid-summer blizzard. Both admit they haven’t gone on a holiday for long time. 

All goes slowly, step-by-step. 

A: Yes, because we’re still very young. Well, we’re not young, but at least the company is… 

Anne says in her confident tone of wit. We then burst into laughter and finish off the  when so much effort goes into conversation  already cold cappuccinos. 

I hug them goodbye, and rushing through the city’s marvellous Mayfair district, baby pink Supermood goodie bag loosely waving in hand, I soon find myself comfortably in a relaxed super mood. 

www.supermood.fi

#WeAreTesting: Artisanal Apothecary by Evolve Beauty

Artisanal producer of green cosmetics, Evolve Beauty from Hertfordshire, UK, shares their expertise on the benefits of hand-crafted, natural beauty blends. Their organic apothecary range so far consists of facial, body and hair products. All their products are vegan, cruelty-free and produced in small batches, to ensure the freshness of superfood based ingredients. 

Hyaluronic Serum 200, Evolve Beauty UK. 

Hyaluronic Serum 200, Evolve Beauty UK. 

Savant tested their most popular products — Hyaluronic Serum 200 and Daily Renew Facial Cream with Argan oil for a week. The delicate pomegranate-infused serum with rose petal scent gave our skin a nice healthy glow and repaired the skin’s uneven surfaces when applied overnight. The Daily Renew cream, scented with delicate coconut aroma, offers 24-hour protection against irritation and is perfect for preparing the skin for winter, when it is more receptive to dryness and eczema.

What are the benefits of organic facial oils and serums?

Using Organic skincare is highly recommended. Not only are organic products better for the environment, containing no nasty ingredients or synthetic fragrances, but they are more earth-friendly and truly repairing your skin texture. Synthetic ingredients can cause irritation and, ultimately, ageing of the skin (inflamm-ageing). 

What's the most popular product out of your own range?

Our most popular facial product is the Hyaluronic Serum 200. It contains 200mg of low molecular weight Hyaluronic Acid which has the ability to retain 1000 times its weight in water. It also contains Organic Pomegranate extract, which softens and protects. It has been delicately fragranced with organic rosewater. 

What could be the reason behind our beauty counters turning more organic and fuss-free? Why do we now care about what we put on our faces as much as we care about what goes into our bodies? 

Same as above really — fuss-free cosmetics give therapeutic and more effective results. Customers are becoming more and more aware of the effect of synthetic ingredients in they beauty products and are therefore turning to organic en masse

"Plants that survive in very harsh environments have developed special coping mechanisms — think about the rainforest, where it’s very hot and humid… perfect place for bacteria to grow! Some rainforest plants have the ability to fight off bacteria when applied to the skin."

Name your other organic go-to products and brands that deserve a shoutout. 

This is slightly biased, but I’ll say S5 Skincare! S5 is a range of organic cosmeceutical products based on ingredients sourced from the 5 most extreme ecosystems. Plants that survive in very harsh environments have developed special coping mechanisms — think about the rainforest, where it’s very hot and humid… perfect place for bacteria to grow! Some rainforest plants have the ability to fight off bacteria when applied to the skin. Fascinating!

Besides beauty, what other  'green lifestyle' principles are represented in your everyday life?

100% organic food! Also, cleansing products that are as natural as possible.

Daily Renew Facial Cream, Evolve Beauty UK. 

Daily Renew Facial Cream, Evolve Beauty UK. 

How did you do the testing and find out which combinations would actually work together? 

We work in very close collaboration with our ingredient suppliers, who advise us on formulation. Our little lab is also excellent at coming up with trump formulations! We are also running customer surveys to ask our customers, what they feel is missing from the range, and what they would like to see launched. 

Who is the target audience for green beauty?

Anyone and everyone. I see more people, who were accustomed to using only conventional skincare, now slowly turning to natural and organic, so we see everyone as a potential customer.

The beauty of the healing effect of organic beauty is that, in order to see the difference, you need to religiously apply the products every day, but after noticing the visible, lasting results that help us feel good in our own skin, this becomes a second nature.

http://www.evolvebeauty.co.uk

LUMI: Uniting Nature + Science in their Tundra Range — #EcoBeauty

Our skin health is something we often take for granted in the approaching winter months. Yet we all want to look and feel forever young, and that takes at least some effort. Instead of turning to quizzical chemical-packed serums and moisturisers, treating your skin with natural, organic beauty products can help to boost your skin’s own glow and enhance that desired, sleek au naturel look. Could Estonian cosmetics brand LUMI be the next innovation in skincare, taking you a step closer to preserving your youth?

Words: Johanna Raudsepp

LUMI: Tundra Range, 2016.

LUMI: Tundra Range, 2016.

I had the glorious opportunity to test out their new product line called Tundra over the past two weeks. Consisting of the AHA-BHA cleansing milk, AHA-BHA moisturising cream and yarrow mist with salicylic acid, LUMI’s Tundra is a complete skincare routine set. Their natural components, like willow, rosemary and hemp seed oil, form a combination that instantly revives your skin. I have never felt so confident in my own skin — during the test weeks, I didn’t reach for make-up even once! 

These all-natural products boast a distinct, aromatic scent — all three products take your senses into the tundra. It reminded me of a mossy forest and I could almost hear a crystal-clear river bubbling away in the background. What’s unique about these products is that the entire range is unisex, suitable for everyday use for both men and women. 

Curious to find out more about the products that have given my skin a healthy glow (and even added a pep to my step), I asked LUMI a bit more about their new Tundra range and the secret of beauty, of course.

You have released your new Tundra line. What inspired this product line? What makes it special?

Our aim was to create products for acne-prone skin, which would rejuvenate and be effective, yet natural at the same time. Research has shown that up to 85% of people have to deal with acne at some stage in their lives — 20% of whom experience this in adulthood as well.

LUMI's Tundra is special because of its carefully picked natural ingredients and a wholesome skincare routine set-up. It restores and renews, and battles inflammation. Naturally we believe that great skin starts from the inside. Nevertheless, your skincare routine should work on different fronts.

"By mixing botanics with safe, lab-made synthetic compounds, we can create a sustainable, environmentally-friendly product. Integrity is also important — the harmony between our body, spirit and senses."

The metallic green design of LUMI's Tundra symbolises development, growth and the path to becoming someone or something better. Just like the permafrost in tundra rivers hinders erosion, the excess keratinisation of the skin hinders its natural processes, creating a good surface for inflammation. Forget about the scrubs and products with different chemicals — natural moisturising products are what the skin actually needs.

LUMI: Tundra Range, 2016.

LUMI: Tundra Range, 2016.

At Savant, we believe that slow lifestyle with all its nuances will slowly but surely find its way to our everyday lives. So much so, that one day people will make educated choices about all their product purchases. How does LUMI envision the future of the world of cosmetics?

We agree – people will definitely be making smarter, more conscious choices about what they buy. We hear more and more about cosmetics that fight skin-stress and pollution. As natural resources aren’t infinite, we think the future will see more sustainable cosmetics. By mixing botanics with safe, lab-made synthetic compounds, we can create a sustainable, environmentally-friendly product. Integrity is also important — the harmony between our body, spirit and senses. 

"The metallic green design of LUMI's Tundra symbolises development, growth and the path to becoming someone or something better."

They say that first impressions are everything. If LUMI passed from us on the street, what would she look like? What is LUMI’s beauty secret?

LUMI is confident and sophisticated. She is an educated person, who has seen life, has good manners, but isn’t naive or stubborn. LUMI shares their knowledge and experiences with their friends, enlightening them with fresh ideas and new trends. LUMI is warm, open-minded, and Nordic in their mindset — modern and minimalist. The secret to her beauty lies in scientifically certified natural products, comprising of carefully picked ingredients, which she would recommend to friends or family any day. LUMI is inspiring, encouraging, motivating and enthusiastic, infecting others with their positivity. She is trendy, but always adds a personal touch to everything, making her unique. 

http://luminordic.com/en/

Beauty Is Beauty Is Beauty Is...The Natural You: Estonian Eco Cosmetics By Sõsar

Words: Johanna Raudsepp

Lately, applying my all-natural face moisturiser first thing in the morning has become like a second nature - it leaves my skin firm and gives it an immediate healthy glow. I couldn’t think of any fresher way of starting the day’s beauty routine. In Northern Europe, the appreciation of natural beauty is nothing unusual: it has gradually become sort of a trademark for us, which translates into our modern-day beauty industry, too. Natural cosmetics, consisting of pure ingredients derived from our surrounding biosphere, are nowadays widely known as bio-organic or eco-friendly cosmetics. As a cherry on top, these fuss-free superheroes often boast environmentally friendly packaging, too. 

Sacred Forest Peat Mask by Sõsar

Sacred Forest Peat Mask by Sõsar

To further understand the buzz around fuss-free, bio-active cosmetics, we talked the essence of beauty with Piret from the Estonian cosmetics brand Sõsar (‘Sister’). Whilst creating their products from all-sustainable resources combining modern-day science with local folk medicine, Sõsar not only serves organic skincare products for women, but has introduced an entire range for everyday use for the modern, global man. Perhaps that rather unusual stunt reveals why we have fallen utterly in love with their all-natural range…

What is beauty? 

Beauty is something very effortless that exudes from within. It reflects in our entity, the way we speak, [in our] physical stance and attitude towards ourselves and one another. Beauty is healthy, not artificial. It’s inside all of us already. [It’s] like a diamond which needs polishing to become a rare brilliant. The question is, will you polish your diamond or cover it with paint? 

"I believe that we all are already beautiful the moment we wake up. It’s a whole different question, whether we have the ability to see that beauty."

What inspired you to launch Sõsar?

Sõsar was born out of a personal need for cosmetics which would highlight natural beauty without damaging our skin and body with synthetic preservatives or colourants. I consider myself to be a bon vivant when it comes to cosmetics and skincare. I value the highest quality, the purest and the most effective natural products that help you stay youthful and glowing. [The idea] came to me once I realised that what is considered ‘best’ isn’t always the most expensive or dressed in the fanciest packaging. I quickly came to the conclusion that everything depends on what’s on the inside - the rest is often just a beautiful facade. As I soon found out there were others who shared my values and believed in the power of nature — thus Sõsar was born. 

Piret Laasik, founder of the Estonian eco beauty brand Sõsar

Piret Laasik, founder of the Estonian eco beauty brand Sõsar

Aside from the obvious, why are natural ingredients better for our skin’s health?

Everything in nature is already in perfect balance — we don’t need to extract, add or remove any components. The compote of fabricated substances [that stand at the other end of beauty industry] might not even give the desired results, but will rather create an addiction to the products. We should get to know nature better and learn how to benefit from it, rather than fear it. Natural products help to create a balance in our organism. We don’t need to apply seven layers of make-up or moisturise our skin on a daily basis, because our body and skin have the natural ability to be healthy and glowing if we knowingly support that. I believe that we all are already beautiful when we wake up. It’s a whole different question, whether we have the ability to see that beauty. 

"Beauty is healthy, not artificial. It’s inside all of us already. Like a diamond which needs polishing to become a rare brilliant. The question is, will you polish your diamond or cover it with paint?"

Besides women’s cosmetics, Sõsar also offers products for the modern man. What is important to keep in mind when creating a beauty product for men? 

What is most interesting about men’s products is that men need to be encouraged to use said products, especially for skincare. [They should keep in mind that] it doesn’t make a man less manly. In fact, [it is not a myth] that we, women, like men who are naturally handsome and take care of themselves. After all, men have the same kind of skin problems as women do. Healthy skin will give men confidence in building their career, and they will also benefit from that confidence in social situations…in their private lives. What’s great about natural products is that they are actually suitable for both men and women. 

Wild Man product range by Sõsar

Wild Man product range by Sõsar

If Sõsar was a character in an upcoming movie, what would she look like? How would she take care of her skin?

Sõsar would be a character called ‘Natural Beauty’, who makes heads turn in awe as she enters the room. It’s not about the perfect brow or having the perfect hair. Her beauty reflects in who she is, her gaze, and how she walks. She’s mindful that knowing her worth, getting a good night’s sleep and weekly beauty rituals are the key to beauty and youthfulness. And she doesn’t take no for an answer. Fresh air, good quality food and an active lifestyle are an essential part of her life. 

If you’re as obsessed with natural beauty as we are, go check out Sõsar’s webpage at www.sosar.eu where you purchase their skincare products. (PS! They ship all over the EU!)

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