Determined to foster the growth of ethical beauty, Lin Chen launched Pink Moon — a strategic marketing firm dedicated to supporting women-founded indie eco brands.
By Tracey FloresRead More
'All Eyes on Us': 3 Ethical Haircare Brands to Have Your Eyes on Now.
By Johanna RaudseppRead More
We talk beauty and beyond with Brook Calixto, founder of Sherwood Skincare, to reveal what's vital to our skin's wellness, learn how to reap the benefits of plant-based oils, and peek into this summer's best beauty trends.Read More
World's most beautiful lipstick? Read all about the cruelty-free Chinese brand that has also been awarded the most beautiful lipstick status by Vogue and Cosmopolitan. PS! This post contains flowers.Read More
For the past few weeks, I've had the pleasure of testing out a few products by Estonian luxury skincare brand D’DIFFERENCE. Created by a doctor, this brand is made for bringing out your real beauty.Read More
This incredibly unique bio-organic cosmetics brand of Italian origin, Caracalla Cosmetici, has brought an interesting and varied paraben-free range to the market – you probably don’t want to miss out on their Nourishing and Restoring facial oil, blended with 100% active ingredients and addressed to treat sensitive skin, to revive and re-energise your skin for blossoming spring. I often feel the need for an extra vitamin inject to boost up my complexion before the golden days of summer season, when skin, as the most important visible organ, needs to be *delicately* prepped for actively taking in all the mood-lifting Vitamin D, somewhere on the sunny coast of French Riviera, all the bravura. The range of luxury facial and body care offered by Caracalla Cosmetici is minimal and concise, yet well curated and thought-through, listing all the absolute essentials you need for daily skincare, from De-Pigmenting and BB creams to Caviar and Snail Drool eye cream, offering a luxurious dose of comfort and care between your regular deep-cleanse peels and fab seasonal facials.
The comfortably light texture of the Nourishing and Restoring Visage Oil mutes your skin’s uneven surfaces and gets rid of any allergic patches and blemishes that may intermittently evade your skin, leaving it nourished, smooth and photo-ready – it worked wonders and absorbed instantly, let alone the droplet cap makes it even easier to apply, without leaving the complexion oily, so I could carry on with my daily make-up routine almost instantly. I also noticed an immediate visible difference in the skin’s smoothness. The nourishing oil, injected with a high dose of vitamins E and F, and in addition to the basics, like Argan and Coconut Oils, the sweet miraculous ingredient of Rosa Mosqueta oil, surprising notes of Pumpkin, Rosemary and Lavander have been featured in the blend of active, bio-organic oils, is definitely a darling pre-bedtime pamperer, and proudly manifests itself an everyday luxury that doesn’t exactly cost a fortune.
Spring here in the Northern hemisphere takes a while to turn from crispy cold to cozy and delicate freshness. That’s why we appreciate the All You Need Is Me natural ointment by True Organic of Sweden as a part of our daily skincare routine. This natural blend is suitable for use anywhere and everywhere - even on your lips! It moisturizes as well as heals chapped skin. The travel-size version is perfect for popping into your purse!
Sweating is not cool in any case, but nor are the aggressive chemicals and aluminium salts found in most regular deodorants. Swiss luxury range cosmetics brand NadiaZ offers a great alternative in the form of an artisanal blend of active indigenous plant based ingredients, helping to protect from unpleasant bodily odours in a more natural way. NadiaZ Tucuma Cocoon Ultra-Soft Deo, inspired by the founder's research on Amazonian plants, with an easy-to-apply thick texture doesn’t even attempt to be your continuous 24h protection, but realistically needs to be re-applied every now and then to prevent you from sweating. If this means benefiting from the nature at its finest, we go in all the way. For effective results, make the best out of respecting the ancient rituals and ditch all the chemos.
Prepare your skin to soak in all the lovely sun with the revitalising Hyaluronic Acid Cream Mask by LUMI. The mask is extremely moisturising and nourishing and perfect for all skin types. It’s easy to use and carries great results. Your skin will be fresh and glowing.
One of the best things about Spring are the smell of fresh grass and dewy mornings. That’s why we love Dabba’s Peppermint Floral Water in a convenient glass spray bottle! It’s a refreshing and cleansing toner that can wake you up even on the gloomiest of days.
If you’re looking to brighten up your look this season, why not try out Axiology’s Vegan Lipsticks? Their creamy and moist, yet light texture is ideal for everyday use. Axiology carries a variety of shades from soft nudes to dark as the night, making it easy to mix and match with different outfits on every occasion. There’s something for everyone. What better way to welcome Spring than making a conscious make-up choice!
Does shaving make your skin itch? Do chemicals in aftershave lotions cause irritation and red skin? Say no more! From the rugged depths of nature to vintage bottles, Portland General Store creates artisanal vegan and organic cosmetics for men. Created in small batches, this line of skincare for men is constantly innovating and brewing up new concoctions. Lisa Brodar, the mastermind behind Portland General Store’s natural skincare recipes, talks men’s skincare and its more organic future.
Words: Johanna Raudsepp
What inspired the launch of Portland General Store? Where does the name derive from?
The idea was inspired back in the mid 2000’s, it was the heart of the maker movement in urban cities like New York, Los Angeles, and Portland, Oregon. I was living in Brooklyn and took up an interest in knitting, getting my supplies from a knitting supply shop called “Brooklyn General Store”. Etsy was a new place where makers and artisans could sell their goods. I decided to start a shop that would sell artisans goods in Portland, Maine, where my partner and I had decided to relocate. When I came across a vintage perfumery book and old apothecary bottles, I started mixing up concoctions — creams, perfumes, oils — and so, the brand was born.
In natural cosmetics, ingredients are everything. What are your favourite components to work with and why?
Wow, so many! I’ll narrow it down to my current favorites, since I’m always experimenting in the lab. Right now I’m a little obsessed with oils, especially camellia flower oil, which I use in a face oil. It is just so beautiful, and non-greasy, perfect for all skin types, male and female. The inspiration to use camellia flower oil in our face oil came its use through the ages in Japan. I mean, Japanese women have flawless skin, there must be a secret! One secret is that they use camellia flower oil to cleanse and moisturize.
Women's cosmetics have already taken a turn to natural. Are men's products following suit? Why do you think such a movement is happening?
Absolutely, or at least I like to think so! Being at the forefront of this movement back in 2009, I would say it was a bit of a struggle to convince some men who were used to going to the neighborhood one-stop-shop bar of soap. Using names like ‘Whiskey’ and ‘Tobacco’ I think sort of tricked them into buying a natural product!
Then, when they started to see results, like less oily or dry skin, less razor burn and irritation, less flaky scalp, they came back, they reviewed the products, we got featured, and there was sort of a domino effect. Matched with the growing trend in men’s grooming (not necessarily all-natural), more men have sought us out, but still, I think there are large pockets of men, domestic and worldwide, who haven’t yet caught on.
In what way does Portland General Store embody slow beauty principles?
We definitely don’t rush the process. Every step is slow — from formulation, to making the product, to even how we fulfill and pack. I think a lot of it is like cooking — we pour our hearts into each product, and even each package. I try to imagine myself on the receiver’s end, opening this box, filled with goodies, a card, dried flowers, a sample. It is very personal. We are not a large corporation and fulfillment is done in-house.
What does Portland General Store dream about at night?
Oh boy, many wonderful things! Big dreams include owning a farm with a little shop that sells the best in natural and organic skincare, and other goods related to living clean and well. But for now, we are in the midst of a package redesign, moving back to a true ‘General Store’ look and feel. We’re working with a hand letterer to design a couple of products this spring, and we’re very excited about that!
Drawing from ancient knowledge of purifying the body, mind, and soul, there’s a new 100% natural way of adapting to ancient rituals. Luxury skincare made user-friendly - and all you need to do is just add water! Indian award-winning skincare brand SkinYoga focuses on empowering women by educating them about the worth of natural beauty and traditions. Founded by a sister-trio, this beauty brand stems from a unifying love of nature and heritage. Radhika Choudhary, one of the co-founders of SkinYoga, spoke to us about their skincare range and its sustainable future.
Words: Johanna Raudsepp
What inspired you to create SkinYoga?
We grew up in a farm in India, where we used to grow our own vegetables, nurtured cows for dairy, and lived a very organic lifestyle. Then we moved to different parts of the world to study. We always got complimented for our skin and hair and at that made us realize it was the very simple and pure regime we had been following since our childhood. After seeing misleading claims from beauty brands that you only need 3% natural ingredients to call yourself a natural skincare brand, we were determined to develop and formulate a 100% natural and clean luxury skincare line that showed results in just one use. The idea was to create a product for the modern working women, so they could enjoy the best of ancient science and modern technology, yet without having to spend hours on different steps.
How does SkinYoga follow principles of sustainable beauty?
We are 100% natural skincare brand and all our ingredients are plant-derived, pure, and unprocessed. Few brands in the world can say they are 100% natural.
There are many dimensions to being sustainable. We have kept all our products in a powdered state to keep them highly active and potent. When you’re ready to use it, you only need to add water to activate it. The stabilizing method helps us keep the ingredients highly active without any preservatives. We focus on the smallest details, from packaging to internal operations, making sure they follow an eco-friendly process. Our team is very actively involved in the community and participates in socially responsible programs. We frequently conduct educational seminars and exhibitions highlighting the importance of sustainable beauty.
Who is your beauty inspiration?
Hundreds and thousands of strong independent working women across the globe, who have and are living balanced and healthy life with lots of style, not because they have to, but because they choose to do so. They are incredibly inspiring, and thanks to our profession, we are blessed to be working with many of such women today, our mother being one of them. We would also like to add that 100% of our workforce are women today.
What is your go-to beauty routine like?
It’s quite simple: cleansing, moisturizing and good sun block in addition to at least 6 hours sleep and loads and loads of water. We at SkinYoga are always looking to further simplify beauty routines. We have concluded that a beauty regime doesn’t necessarily have to be complicated and involve 20 different beauty steps.
What inspires you when creating new SkinYoga products?
One miracle bottle. That’s our brief behind every product. If you look at our current range we have an ideal capsule skincare range, adaptable to every age and all climate conditions. Coming back to the idea that you don’t need 10 products to take care of your skin.
Quality has become a signature to our brand. Our team works extremely hard to create products,which are clean and effective. Our philosophy is “If you can’t eat it, don’t put it on your body”. 60% of what you put on your body is directly absorbed into your blood stream. Hence, it’s important to stay away from chemicals.
How do you see the future of natural, sustainable beauty? Where is it directed?
The future of the beauty industry is heading towards natural and sustainable brands. With the growing consumers’ awareness and demand, the natural skincare category is one of the fastest growing in skincare globally. But there is a huge gap in the market still and more brands are coming to that realization.
Global demand for natural skincare products is expected to reach $13.2 billion by 2018. Thus, we will see more mainstream brands come up with natural skincare ranges in the future.
What are your hopes and dreams for 2017?
Our dream and mission is to get every vanity bag chemical free. We love to empower women. We want every woman to feel confident and strong in their own skin without having to apply any makeup.
2017 is an important year for SkinYoga - we are coming out with 3 new products, including our first hair care product.
Have you ever wondered how cruelty-free are the contents of your make-up bag? I do like to believe that conscious lifestyle choices can extend to our beauty rituals - be it bathing or enhancing your radiance for a memorable night out. These natural, organic lipsticks by Axiology, with shades ranging from subtle natural nudes to queen-of-the-night black, make sure you stand out from the crowd on every occasion. Ericka Rodriguez, founder and formulator at Axiology Beauty, shared their love for beauty with us.
Words: Johanna Raudsepp
What inspired the launch of Axiology?
Axiology was inspired by our dedication to a cruelty-free lifestyle. I have been vegan for many years and during the time of Axiology's beginning, I was delving more into understanding animal testing and animal derived ingredients in our home and personal care products. After lots of research, I vowed to only purchase make-up products that were dedicated in their stance on being cruelty-free. Unfortunately, at the time, I felt a lot of brands fell short. I didn't like the feel of the lipstick and didn't think any of the brands were marketed for me. I wanted something vegan, high performing and cool. I thought it would be fun to try to make my own lipstick (if you can't tell, this has always been my favourite make-up product) and would formulate before and after work 5 days a week. Eventually, I found a recipe I loved and had to bring it to the market.
Axiology is aligned with the values of sustainability. What is your take on sustainable beauty? Where could it evolve in the near future?
Sustainable beauty is here to stay. Ingredients are key to keeping our bodies healthily sustained and I think consumers are demanding this more than ever.
What are Axiology’s characteristics?
Axiology is intentional in her actions, intelligent in her worldview, and compassionate above all.
What has been your most memorable experience on the journey of creating Axiology lipsticks?
The most memorable experience is journeying to Bali, Indonesia, to study ingredients and it is also the place that led me to the women who hand-recycle and hand make our boxes. Bali is wonderful and my boyfriend and I lived along rice paddies and had a view of a volcano from our studio. I was also able to work alongside many other entrepreneurs, which has been crucial to my success. They all really pushed me and gave me valuable advice that I still put into practice.
How do you understand slow living and how do you apply its principles to your day-to-day life?
I'm all for the slow lifestyle. I know that in most cases the slow lifestyle is referring to avoiding mass production and eating organically, so I usually host clothing swaps instead of going shopping and frequent farmers markets. However, most crucial to me when we talk about a ‘slow’ lifestyle is just slowing down in general. I meditate every morning and that's what really aligns my day.
Who do you look up to as your beauty inspiration?
Beauty inspiration would be Beyonce. She's the queen.
If Axiology was a flower, which one would it be?
Axiology would be a cactus flower. We see ourselves in the desert under the open sky.