Four DIY Detox Recipes for ARLO BLAK’s Activated Charcoal Powder

Four DIY Detox Recipes for ARLO BLAK’s Activated Charcoal Powder

This ultrafine powder is like a one-stop-shop for total detox…

Is a shot of pitch-black powder the newest way to supercharge your detox routine? At this point in the wellness game, we’re all pretty familiar with the general benefits of charcoal, the sooty, toxin-attracting particle that has the ability to sweep chemicals and bacteria off their feet — but thanks to a new no-nonsense, back-to-the-basics delivery system, you’re bound to become even more acquainted with the poison-trapping powerhouse.

CHARCOAL IS THE NEW STAPLE:

Meet ARLO BLAK, the Australian-based brand that Alexandra Lawson dreamed up last year whilst looking for an alternative to the chemical-heavy products saturating the beauty market. “In an age of toxin overload, I wanted to create a product that was not only good for me, but also environmentally and vegan-friendly,” says Alexandra of the logic behind ARLO BLAK’s Activated Charcoal Powder, created from burning organic coconut shells in a process that creates the ultra-fine black powder with its famously porous, attractive surface. Fans of the brand like bombshell model Simone Holtznagel are already singing its cruelty-free, 100% natural praises.

THE PURIFYING POSSIBILITIES OF CHARCOAL:

Whether you’re mixing it into a face mask, polishing your teeth with it, or sipping it as a purifying elixir, the name of the game is DETOX. “Activated charcoal acts like a magnet drawing out dirt and oil from your pores, discoloration from your teeth, and toxins from your body,” Alexandra explains of the many uses the brand touts for its packet of unprocessed onyx dust. “Toxins from processed food and environmental pollution can wreak havoc on our bodies, destroying cells, affecting the functioning of our immune system, and contributing to early aging — ARLO BLAK binds toxins to help prevent damage, helping to relieve skin issues, allergies, and digestive problems like gas and bloating.”

 THE SIMPLEST CHARCOAL RECIPES FOR RESULTS:

The odorless, flavorless particles are meant to be mixed, so working them into a regular routine doesn’t require ousting your usual favorites completely, but instead sporadically adding a dose of detoxifying power. “I use it for a number of different health and beauty treatments,” Alexandra shares. “The benefits and uses are endless and I love when customers come up with new treatments.” Below, four of her top recipes for a purified future.

ANTI-BLEACH SMILE BRIGHTENER

Ingredients

Water

Your favorite toothbrush

ARLO BLAK Activated Charcoal Powder

ALEXANDRA’S HOW-TO TIPS: “ARLO BLAK helps to whiten teeth naturally, and get rid of stains by removing plaque and discoloration. Brush with the charcoal 2-3 times per week to kiss expensive chemical treatments goodbye and say hello to perfect pH balance and a big, bright smile!”

Try it in the shower to avoid any spotted mirror problems.

Dip your toothbrush in water and add a layer of ARLO BLAK’s powder.

Brush, brush, brush and rinse well with water.

Follow with your favorite toothpaste to get rid of any excess black residue (and leave a minty finish).

TOTAL POWERCLAY MASK

Ingredients

Water

½ tsp bentonite clay powder

½ tsp ARLO BLAK Activated Charcoal Powder

ALEXANDRA’S HOW-TO TIPS: “My favorite masking ingredient to mix in is bentonite clay. Bentonite clay and activated charcoal are a power couple for removing dirt and impurities from your skin. When bentonite clay is mixed with water it tightens large pores, tones and firms the skin, reduces blemishes, controls oil and exfoliates. Coupling it with activated charcoal results in a super purifying and detoxifying face mask.

Start in the bath, because as your mask starts to dry, it will flake.

Mix half a teaspoon of bentonite clay with half a teaspoon of ARLO BLAK and a bit of water into a paste.

Apply evenly to skin, avoiding eye area.

Lie back and relax until the mixture feels dry to the touch.

Remove with a wet wash cloth and your favorite face cleanser or face wipe.

INKY COCONUT MELT

Ingredients

½ tsp coconut oil

½ tsp ARLO BLAK Activated Charcoal Powder

ALEXANDRA’S HOW-TO TIPS: “Take some time out and treat yourself to an acne-fighting, glowing-face-magic mask as often as 2-3 times per week. Remember, no matter how hard you try to remove your mask with only water, it won’t come off—after all, oil and water don’t mix.”

Mix a half a teaspoon of ARLO BLAK with half a teaspoon of coconut oil.

Apply to skin in a smooth layer, avoiding eyes.

Put your feet up and wait for the mixture to dry.

Remove with a wet wash cloth and your favorite face cleanser or face wipe.

OBSIDIAN ELIXIR

Ingredients

Water

½ organic lemon

1 tsp ARLO BLAK Activated Charcoal Powder

ALEXANDRA’S HOW-TO TIPS: “Get a spring back in your step by using ARLO BLAK as the ultimate detox elixir. Drink 2- 3 times per week to help to remove unwanted toxins from your body, leaving you feeling renewed and more vibrant.” (Don’t take at the same time as medication or other supplements, and if pregnant or nursing, suffer from irritable stomach issues, nutrient deficiencies or anemia, consult your healthcare practitioner prior to use. This is not intended as a treatment for accidental poisoning.)

Give yourself 3 hours before or after eating so as not to prevent nutrient absorption from your food.

Stir a teaspoon of ARLO BLAK into a glass of water.

Add a squeeze of lemon for extra detoxifying power and sip at your leisure.

Drink at least 8 glasses of water throughout the day to stay properly hydrated.

+ Keep up with Arden via IG.

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How Austin’s New Vetiver Line Balances Moisture — AND Emotions

How Austin’s New Vetiver Line Balances Moisture — AND Emotions

A moisturizer that reduces inflammation and anxiety? We’re listening…

A beauty editor for years, I’ve come across dozens of vetiver-scented products and never thought twice about what it really is. A grass, right? Smells kind of fresh, earthy, and clean all at once? It’s a question that Carrie Sexton, the Austin-based aesthetician who just launched a three-piece line based on the botanical, is all too familiar with at her holistic home base, Vetiver Skin Studio. According to Sexton, vetiver, also known as khus, is strong-rooted grass native to Haiti and India known for its stability and ability to prevent and treat against inflammation and hyperpigmentation, not to mention reduce anxiety and stabilize emotions. Who knew?

Sexton’s tightly edited line (appropriately named Vetiver) is fast-becoming a favorite of skin-obsessed It-Girls and models like Alyssa Miller who swoons over the facial and body oil, claiming that she “slathers” herself in each as a daily ritual. It’s the careful mixture of hyper-high-quality ingredients (for a price point that sits at about 1/3 the cost of most buzzy, insider-sanctioned oils) that keeps people coming back, and when I ask Sexton what the most popular product is at the moment, she has trouble choosing. “I’d have to say that the intoxicating scent of the body oil and the love that went into creating that specific blend is something I’m really proud of,” she divulges of the amber-bottled tincture that required “lots of testing, hours and hours of testing.”

All products are vegan, natural, and cruelty-free, part of Sexton’s philosophy, including her constant push to source the best ingredients, which she considers top priority. Using herself as a guinea pig for the power-ingredient’s formulations ended up uncovering the deeper emotional perks of her concoctions. “I found with research and self-experimentation of vetiver that its benefits for anxiety and settling the mind were profound,” says Sexton of the self-care bonus infused into each of her products. Below, her breakdown of each hand-blended creation:

The Vetiver Facial Oil

Founder Tip: “A few drops on the skin prior to your regular moisturizing routine gives the skin the most beautiful glow. I have always loved facial oils. Always. But with a little research, I’ve combined some of most concentrated, antioxidant packed oils around and blended with essential oils that actually benefit the skin. This is probably the product I’m most proud of — it accidentally became my most favorite facial moisturizer I’ve ever used!”

Star Ingredients:

Marula – reduces redness, heals, and promotes skin elasticity thanks to Omega 9 and 6, which also provide antioxidant protection.

Borage — restores the moisture barrier of chronically dry skin while repairing the tissue.

Sea Buckthorn — packed with antioxidants; vitamins A, E, and C which prevent free radical damage.

Frankincense — reduces acne blemishes, prevents fine lines, and helps to lift and firm.

Sandalwood — helps with inflammation, heals scar tissue, and helps with discoloration.

The Vetiver Body Scrub

Founder tip: “The Himalayan salt scrub is amazing for sore stiff muscles. Exfoliation is crucial for the health of your skin and the body gets left out sometimes with regards to our skin routine.”

Star Ingredients:

Vetiver — calms the soul and grounds the mind.

Rosewood — acts as an aphrodisiac and antidepressant.

Bergamot — serves as an uplifting mood-booster.

Black Spruce — cleanses as a natural antiseptic, and according to Sexton, “frankly ties these together for the perfect combination for natural fragrance for women and men alike.”

The Vetiver Body Oil

Founder Tip:I wanted to find something rich and nourishing (yet not greasy) that had the perfect scent. I don’t like to wear perfumes and this is just enough—I literally bathe in this. You can’t really use too much.”

Star Ingredients:

Vetiver — promotes regeneration of the skin, aids in scarring.

Rosewood — offers naturally antibacterial and deodorizing properties.

Sweet Almond Oil & Fractionated Coconut Oil — deliver lighter-than-air moisture without a heavy feel. “The almond and Fractionated Coconut Oil are in perfect harmony,” says Sexton. “Rich in minerals and Vitamin E and A, Sweet Almond Oil also protects from oxidative stress. This helps heal rashes, is great for eczema, and also helps with acne due to its vitamin A content.”

+ Keep up with Arden on IG.

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Spotlight On: Tela for Curly Hair

Spotlight On: Tela for Curly Hair

It is a truth well known — a woman with straight hair must be in want of curly hair, and vice-versa. Tela just might change that way of thinking…

Or at least that is how I have lived my life amongst the curly-headed sirens that seem to surround me wherever I turn, taunting me with their spiraled, bouncing strands.

You see, my hair is straight-ish. If I do things exactly right, I can tease a little wave out of it that barely lasts until lunch and it’s only with the combined firepower of a curling iron, styling paste and salt spray. And so it was that I found myself bemoaning my plight over dinner with a friend whose hair was so curly, so gorgeously lush with coils that I could not help myself and reached out to lightly touch the springs. (It wasn’t weird, I promise. We’re really close.)

She leaned her curl-strewn head back and laughed heartily, regaining her composure only to tell me how easy I had it. How difficult it is to tame and take care of curly hair without drying it out or creating a large ball of frizz or frying it to death with heat tools. “I love my hair,” she sighed,
“but it is a blessing as much as a curse. Sometimes I wish I could have your hair. My life would be much easier.”

Shocked to hear that her serpentine hair caused her such ire, I begged her to continue. “What else of this hard hair life do you speak of?”

As it turns out, having curly hair is not as fun as I assumed it was, nor was it easy to tame and care for. It required just the right haircut, the willpower to not constantly touch post-wash, quite a bit of finessing, a lifelong search for the right combination of products, and a ton of moisture but not so much that it weighed the curls down.

Which is why — despite having nary a natural curl on my head — I imagine the full line of Tela products is such a revelation for those of winding hair. You see, curl-specific hair care is nothing new; it’s been done before and done often. But from what I’ve heard (and based on the aforementioned lifelong search for the right products), it’s never as good as you want it to be. The conditioner is too heavy or the control spray doesn’t actually keep frizz at bay. The shampoo strips too much moisture or the masque is incredibly high maintenance. It’s a real Goldilocks conundrum, one Tela is here to solve with a full line of curly hair care that’s, dare I say, just right.

Curly Shampoo + Curly Conditioner

The major complaint I hear from curly-headed ladies is that their hair is constantly dehydrated so they need to cut back on the shampooing and up the conditioning. But after a few days of conditioning, residue and gunk is bound to build up and weigh down curls (not to mention clog the pores on your scalp and trap dead skin cells up there) which sort of means you have to shampoo. It’s a vicious cycle, really. And if they want to shampoo and condition organically? Forget it.

But with Tela’s Curly Shampoo and Conditioner, you can wash and hydrate those curls to your heart’s content. The combo leaves hair shiny and clean with no residue, and the shampoo isn’t drying so, if you want to wash every day, go for it. (But maybe stick to every other day to be safe?)

Thanks to a blend of Solomon’s Seal (an herb used in traditional Chinese medicine for its moistening properties), plantain, marshmallow root and reishi mushroom, the duo works to soothe and strengthen curly hair while also revitalizing and restoring shine. And in case that wasn’t enough, Tela has gone ahead and replaced water in the formula with oolong, green and white teas for an antioxidant boost.

Healer Conditioning Treatment

If your curls still need more of a moisturizing kick, or you want to add a layer of protection against heat styling, a conditioning treatment is where it’s at. And true to its name, Tela’s Healer will do just that. It’s multipurpose, too, so you can use it as a heavy-duty masque, a daily detangler, a heat protectant or all of them at once.

With an ingredient deck that reads like the most nutritious salad you’ve ever eaten, it should come as no surprise that the highly concentrated (so it’ll last a while) Healer Conditioning Treatment features antioxidant-rich components that are all meant to strengthen hair while adding texture and shine.

For collagen synthesis and a healthy scalp, there’s pomegranate. Then we’ve got apricot to help the hair shaft maintain moisture and act as a detangler. Burdock root helps tame hard-to-handle-hair while carrot strengthens strands with its large amounts of vitamins A, C and E. Rounding out the hair salad are celery water, which adds weightless moisture to the hair, and tomato, which is packed with strengthening minerals like calcium, iron, potassium and zinc. Basically, everything you’re supposed to be feeding your body every day via food can be found in this conditioning treatment. It’s a shame you can’t find it in digestible capsule form.

Curl of My Dreams + Frizz Buster

Not just a complaint of curly-haired folks, but certainly one they’re prone to what with the directionality of their hair and the constant need for moisture, frizz is no joke. Since frizz is a result of a protein/water imbalance, a surefire way to beat it is to add protein to the mix in the form of nutrient-rich oils and ceramides, both of which happen to be in Tela’s Frizz Buster spray. Quinoa, boabaob, sunflower and lavender seed oils lock in moisture and nutrients without weighing hair down, keeping frizz at bay even in the least hair-friendly conditions.

And if a few spritzes of Frizz Buster still aren’t doing the trick, consider the holy grail of curl products: Curl of My Dreams. Toss the conventional hair gel that you’ve resigned yourself to using for its taming properties even though it leaves your curls crunchy and hard and sort of wet-looking. This Tela elixir enhances natural texture, reduces frizz and results in effortless-yet-long-lasting, shiny curls thanks to the inclusion of quinoa protein, which restores shine and adds bounce back to previously gel-coated locks.

So now that I know the less universally acknowledged truth about what it takes to maintain a gorgeous head of curly hair, am I still so keen on the idea of swapping my wash-and-go wavy mane for something more high maintenance and also more luxurious and bouncy? Abso-curl-utely.

+Loving Tela? Shop the full collection here

Free People Blog

Your Major Skin Milestones

Your Major Skin Milestones

Here’s exactly what happens to your complexion at every life stage, and how to be prepared for the highs and lows…  

Skin — like your body — changes over time. Sometimes these shifts can seem incredibly random. Like, why is my skin so dry all of a sudden? Or how can I be breaking out in my 30s? And where did these dark patches come from? Turns out such complexion swings are actually very predictable. Here, we asked Manhattan dermatologist Sue Ann Wee, M.D., who is an expert on the science of skin health, to fill us on the major skin milestones most women face. Then we tell you how you can get in front of these issues now — so you’re prepared for any complexion curveball that might be coming your way.

Skin Milestone: Your Teens

What to expect: Oily skin, acne and stretch marks

What’s going on in your body: Overactive hormones “stimulate sebaceous glands to produce an oily substance called sebum,” says Dr. Wee, which can clog pores. In many women, acne may flare up several days before your period. And high levels of hormones strike at the time when your body is growing, which can stretch the skin’s tissue.

What to do: See your dermatologist to get an acne regimen that works for you — benzoyl peroxide washes, salicylic and glycolic acids and topical sulfur are good over-the-counter remedies. Stretch marks are best treated early; your doctor can choose the right treatment for you (typically pulsed dye laser, but the choice of laser or treatment depends on your skin tone among other factors). In the meantime, we suggest a body oil to help minimize the effects of skin stretching.

Skin Milestone: Your College Years

What to expect: Acne and eczema flare-ups

What’s going on in your body: “The combination of increased stress and lack of sleep, which can spike the stress hormone cortisol, and poor eating habits (sugary, processed foods, and alcohol) can increase inflammation in the body,” says Dr. Wee, adding that this can lead to “skin changes such as increased acne, exacerbation of inflammatory conditions of the skin like eczema and psoriasis.” Plus, in your 20s, “there is already increased oil production from more active sebaceous glands, which makes acne even more likely during stressful times in college.”

What to do: Make good lifestyle decisions!  Try to avoid all nighters by sticking to a regular study, exercise and sleep routine. Embrace a whole-food diet and check in with your dermatologist to formulate an acne treatment plan (early treatment can prevent or minimize acne scarring). Other good skin care habits we recommend include using gentle cleansers that don’t strip the natural pH of the skin, non-comedogenic moisturizers, and high SPF broad spectrum sunscreens (reapply every two hours and use a nickel-sized dollop for face and shot glass amount for the body).

Skin Milestone: Pregnancy

What to expect: Dewy, radiant skin (yah!), changes in pigmentation, acne

What’s going on in your body: “Although the precise mechanisms are not clear, hormonal and metabolic changes during pregnancy significantly impact the skin,” says Dr. Wee. “Increased estrogen positively affects collagen production, elasticity and hydration,” she says, and high levels of progesterone may boost elasticity and skin firmness. The “pregnancy glow” is thought to be due to amped up oil production and blood supply to the skin; “however, these same hormonal changes may aggravate acne or rosacea,” she says. Stretch marks often occur with pregnancy and as well as melasma, or darkening of the skin, that might have to do with increased estrogen, sun exposure, and genetic predisposition.

What to do: First, chat with your dermatologist as the options for treating acne during pregnancy are pretty limited. After pregnancy, your pro can work with you to treat melasma and any hyperpigmentation issues, which might include topical bleaching agents, peels, and lasers. Your dermatologist can also treat stretch marks with lasers that target redness and help smooth the texture. Most importantly, practice good sun protection. Although melasma cannot always be prevented, it’s hugely beneficial to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher every day; during pregnancy, experts often recommend using physical barrier, zinc-based sunscreens (here’s one we love).

Skin Milestone: Your 30s and 40s

What to expect: Dryness, dullness, fine lines, especially in areas of facial expression such as forehead and around the eyes; skin also may start to appear less taut in certain areas. Hormonal acne is quite common now and even later into menopause.

What’s going on with your body: Signs of intrinsic and extrinsic (ultraviolet light, pollution, lifestyle) aging start to surface now, says Dr. Wee. The cumulative effects of UV radiation can damage DNA, increasing melanin or pigmentation (i.e. brown spots). Estrogen production gradually decreases, resulting in drier and less hydrated skin, increased wrinkling, slower wound healing, and less firmness and elasticity in your skin.

What to do: Sun protection continues to be critical and keeping skin hydrated helps it appear plump and smooth. We’re all about creams with hyaluronic acid and other humectants combined with occlusive emollients. You can also try hydroxy acid masks and antioxidant serums containing vitamin C. Ask your dermatologist about lasers like Clear + Brilliant to address early photo-aging changes (fine lines and pigmentation) and Fraxel Dual lasers for more significant wrinkles and pigmentation in your 30s and beyond, as your collagen levels diminish.

Last thing! Be sure to see your dentist regularly and practice good oral hygiene. Healthy teeth and gums are important for your underlying jaw and maxillae bones, says Dr. Wee, all of which play a major role in the structural foundation of the face!

This information is not intended to treat, diagnose or prevent any disease or skincare issue. 
Please seek your doctor’s advice for any questions regarding a specific condition and before beginning any exercise, diet, skin or health-related regimen.

Free People Blog

Meet The Founder: Ashley Prange, Au Naturale

Meet The Founder: Ashley Prange, Au Naturale

Sharing with us how she swapped studying nuclear particles for cosmetic nanoparticles…

This post comes to you from contributor Natalie Shukur.

Ashley Prange’s career trajectory is wonderfully unconventional. From nuclear analyst to clean cosmetics pioneer, the surprising switch came from a very personal place. Living next door to a beauty boutique in Washington D.C., Prange was always trying out the latest in cosmetics. Suffering from breakouts and irritation, she gravitated towards the cleanest products but found that her skin was still reacting to them. “So I did my research,” she says. “When I realized that there were still synthetics in the ‘natural’ brands I was using, I took to my kitchen and experimented until I’d created makeup that was truly healthy. That’s when it hit me that there was a tremendous gap in the market and I decided I wanted to be the one to fill it.” Enter Au Naturale, a comprehensive makeup line that ticks all of the boxes: organic, vegan, non-toxic, gluten-free and PETA-certified cruelty-free. Here, Prange shares how she swapped studying nuclear particles for cosmetic nanoparticles in a bid to revolutionize the beauty industry.

Does your background as a nuclear analyst inform what you do now?

Yes. Especially when it comes to the purity of the product. As a former regulator, I care about supply chain, and that’s driven the desire to formulate the way we do. Having had experience in the political realm has also been incredibly helpful in starting the Clean Beauty Revolution.

The natural cosmetic market is growing rapidly. What makes Au Naturale different?

People have referred to us as the “unicorn” of natural beauty. Not only are we vegan, cruelty-free, synthetic-free and handcrafted regularly, but we also make everything in our own lab in Green Bay, Wisconsin. This in itself is exclusively unique, but we are also soon to be the only NSF-305 certified cosmetic line, rendering us the cleanest in the game.

Why is “clean beauty” so important to you?

Because your skin is your largest organ, 60% of what you put on it ends up in your body. I believe you should treat personal care products just as you do the food you eat…so if you care about your health, having truly clean makeup is a must.

What are some of your favorite products in the range?

It depends on the season. Right now, my go-to routine entails: Completely Covered Creme Concealer in Buff, Semi-Matte Powder Foundation in Lucia, Golden Henna Pure Powder Bronzer lightly dusted all over, Pure Powder Blush in Pink Champagne, and su/Stain in On Pointe for a subtle pop of lip color.

Do you follow any daily wellness rituals?

I like to start my day relaxed so, when I wake up, I take at least 10 minutes to meditate. First, I try to be thankful for all of the good, and then I think about what needs to be done for the day. Next, I get active in some kind of way, mixing road biking, yoga and pilates throughout the week. For me, staying active is pivotal for my mental and physical health. Then it’s off to work! We try to uphold similar ideals in the office because we all flourish when we’re happy and healthy. So step into the Au Naturale headquarters and you’ll catch daily motivational mantras and wafts of organic coffee. When I leave the office, I try to spend as much time as I can in nature so if my schedule permits I’ll be gardening or hiking.

Is there any type of food philosophy you like to follow?

I’ve been a vegetarian since age eight! Outside of staying away from meat, I try to avoid processed foods and sugar.

How do you like to perk yourself up/calm yourself down?

Rolling in the organic hay! [laughs]. Just kidding… green apples and pilates. And the occasional self-care night.

How do you source the ingredients for your products?

Carefully. We work hard to ask a lot of questions and work exclusively with people who really know their stuff. Often times we go as far as visiting the very farm where the ingredients are grown.

What causes are important to you?

Where do I start? The Clean Beauty Revolution, obviously. It was a passion [of mine] before it was a business and continues to be what we work on the most. We believe the only way to truly change the beauty industry is to formally change the legislation ruling it. But I’m also passionate about environmentalism in every form. Part of why we’re located in WI is so that we can help lend to the collective voice advocating for sustainability in a place that really needs it. And of course, empowering women and younger generations is and always will be my mission both personally and via the company. Every woman should be confident and raised to believe that she can do everything.

Who or are your biggest influences?

Jane Goodall. I met her when I was working for [House of Representatives member] Patrick Kennedy in D.C. as an intern in college, and she put my hands in her hands and told me I was capable of anything — it truly ignited something in me. I think about how she is a normal person who persisted in chasing her dreams and, in doing so, has done such tremendous things for animals, the environment and education. Another? Eleanor Roosevelt, because she is a strong woman who influenced policy and empowered so many. She was also the reason my grandfather came to the States as one of the first Fulbright scholars, so, if it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t exist!

What else inspires your work?

I’ve always been inspired by Elsa Schiaparelli. She’s totally unique and far too overlooked for what she gave to the world of fashion. Her creative design, bold artistic language and her [personal] story have always driven me to expand my creative horizons.

Do you have an ethos or mantra that you live by?

Of course! They sound cheesy, but here we go: Treat people as you’d like to be treated and WWJD (What would Jane [Goodall] Do?).

+ Check out the full line of Au Naturale products here

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Summer Refresh: Decluttering with Lilah B’s Minimal Beauty Pebbles

Summer Refresh: Decluttering with Lilah B’s Minimal Beauty Pebbles

These cruelty-free river rock compacts from Lilah B are performing natural wonders…

It’s time for a summer vanity refresh. In the beauty-obsessed realm of 2017, where every lipstick collab or buzzy launch adds the weight of yet another product to your tote, the craving for a simply, chicly wrapped staple has set in. This concept of cosmetic decluttering wasn’t lost on Cheryl Yannotti Foland, founder of the cruelty-free makeup and skin care brand Lilah B. After ten years of working in a beauty industry riddled with excess, Cheryl envisioned a simplified beauty line that wouldn’t skimp on skin-kind ingredients — or style.

“The packaging was a pretty big focus of mine,” shares Cheryl as we discuss the brand’s signature polished river stone-esque compacts. “As an avid beauty consumer for years, I had grown tired of high end products either breaking or looking ‘less than fabulous’ after bumbling around in a makeup bag for a few weeks.” With her sights set on creating a line that looked, behaved, and even felt (in your hand) like “luxury,” Cheryl referenced former Italian model-turned-jewelry-designer Elsa Peretti for aesthetic direction. “I was inspired by the organic shapes of Elsa Peretti’s designs from a young teen, and kept her in mind as we customized our stone compacts.” And even with game-changing packaging, it’s the formulations inside of the strangely irresistible marble casings that have editors’ and makeup artists’ attention. “My objective was to launch the healthiest collection without compromising performance,” says Cheryl of the hydrating aloe and agar (a gelatin derived from marine algae) and moisturizing botanicals incorporated throughout the entire line. “Offering the ease of a simplified beauty routine means that it shouldn’t have to be reapplied multiple times throughout your day.” And with each product encompassing the duties of several, the opportunity to pare down a bloated beauty routine is, in this case, irresistible:

Blush + Lipstick + Cream Eyeshadow = The Divine Duo Lip & Cheek

The hero product for the brand, featuring a sheer, buildable formula, has makeup icons singing its praises. “The pebble shape of this lip and cheek tint makes me so happy,” says industry pro Pati Dubroff. “The sheer pretty tint is my go-to for adding a bit of color to my face.” Hung Vanngo , fellow makeup artist who’s worked with everyone from Kate Moss to Selena Gomez, backs its clutter-free vision. “This is an excellent product for a no-fuss makeup routine,” emphasizes Hung. “With many versatile shades, they can be worn on the lips, cheeks and some could even be used as a soft cream eyeshadow.”

Highlighter + Bronzer + Contour Palette = Bronzed Beauty Bronzer

Adding a bit of universally flattering warmth to all skin tones, this golden-bronze-meets-champagne-shimmer combination delivers a natural glow when paired up on key points of the face. “I personally LOVE to look ‘kissed by the sun’ all year long,” explains Cheryl of the inspiration behind the duo. “The darkest shade contours, and the lightest shade highlights cheek and brow bones. Combine the two to sweep across your nose, cheeks, and forehead for a natural hint of sun.

Treatment Salve + Multipurpose Gloss = Tinted Lip Balm

The newest launch for summer, each sheer balm is infused with lavender oil and mint for a sensory refresh with every swipe. “This balm is not only a treatment product – offering moisturization and hydration–but gives you just the perfect tint of pigment for the season of lighter, easier beauty looks,” says Cheryl, who’s been sporting the b.cheeky shade every day since its launch. “It is so easy on the go and can be layered on top of our Divine Duo for added shine.”

Liner + Shadow + Brow Powder + Luminizer = Palette Perfection Eye Quad

With flexible formulas that can be applied wet and dry (or sheer and subtle for day, smoky and impactful for night), the quad has become one of the brand’s most versatile pieces — not to mention a blogger obsession. “This was, by far, one of my favorite products to develop,” Cheryl admits. “Having powders that work as brow powders and even liners provides an all-in-one palette — and as a bonus, each quad has a highlighter shade which can be used practically anywhere from the lid to the cheekbones, bridge of nose, or even cupid’s bow.” Also formulated with aloe and agar, the hydrating nature of these key ingredients prevents creasing for lasting wear.

Moisturizing Essence + Makeup Setting Spray + Hydrosol = Aglow Face Mist

Don’t let the portable size fool you, this recipe is packed with power players like firming knot grass, soothing fig extract, and detoxifying dandelion root for a radiance-boosting shot of skin care. “Aglow was designed to set, refresh and hydrate, whether prepping the skin before makeup application, setting your look after, or just using as a moisturizing mist throughout your day,” says Cheryl of the lavender-scented elixir. For one final multitasking mission, take a tip from the brand’s in-house artists, who spritz powder eyeshadows for a dewy look that takes the guesswork out of gleaming lids.

+ Check our Lilah B’s full beauty collection here

Free People Blog

What’s the Deal with Vegan Beauty?

What’s the Deal with Vegan Beauty?

Contributor Allie White helps you know what to look for if you’re in the market for vegan products…

As far as most people are concerned, “vegan” denotes a type of diet that doesn’t allow for any animal products. No meat, no cheese, no eggs, no anything that derives from an animal. And as far as “dietary veganism” goes, it is about food. But “vegan” can actually mean much more than what you eat; for many people, it’s a lifestyle. It dictates not only what they put in their body, but also what they put on their body. From clothes to skincare to makeup, it touches every part of a vegan’s life.

If you’ve ever tried to order a vegan meal at a non-vegan restaurant, you know the struggle is real. So imagine trying to lead a completely vegan lifestyle in a not-completely-vegan world. It’s a lot of work with a lot of potential to get stuck and tripped up. And just like the warranted annoyance at restaurants that offer salad or a plate of steamed veggies as vegan options, it’s easy to see why anyone who adheres to a vegan lifestyle would be annoyed at the skincare and beauty industry — they certainly don’t make it easy to find products that not only adhere to vegan standards, but that also work at the same level of conventional products.

Luckily, big and small brands alike are taking notice of the need — and benefits — of vegan beauty and skincare, and things that fit the vegan lifestyle are more easy to find than ever theses days. That said, it’s still utterly important to know what to look for if you’re in the market for vegan products.

When reading ingredient labels, certain things will jump out at you as obviously non-vegan. But then there are those tricky ingredients that are either hiding under a name you might not recognize or ones you’re not totally sure about. Some common beauty ingredients that are definitely non-vegan include:

  • Lanolin
  • Collagen
  • Albumen
  • Shark squalene
  • Carmine
  • Cholesterol
  • Gelatin
  • Beeswax
  • Honey

Some products will proudly and boldly state their vegan status on the label, while others may be a bit more subtle. Other than the ingredient deck, you’ll also want to pay attention to certain icons and language like the following:

  • Certified Vegan: This is the Holy Grail for vegan products. You don’t have to second guess a product with this labelling as it means the product is 100% free of any animal-derived ingredients and was not tested on animals.
  • 100% Vegetarian: As the name implies, a product with this label doesn’t contain animal ingredients but it may contain animal by-products.
  • Leaping Bunny: The internationally-recognized symbol meaning no animals were harmed—in all stages of development and production, including labs and suppliers. It’s important to note that the company has voluntarily pledged their products are 100% free of animal testing, but there’s no agency checking up on the pledge.
  • Cruelty Free: Similarly to the leaping bunny, this logo means a company has provided a signed assurance or statement verifying there’s no animal testing on their ingredients, and is organized by PETA.
  • Not Tested on Animals: Products and ingredients have never been tested on animals and must not contain ingredients derived from killing an animal or provided as a by-product from killed animals. Verified by Choose Cruelty Free (CCF), companies pay to use and license the logo and the CCF requires companies to undergo regular re-accreditation.
  • USDA Organic: Made with at least 95% certified organic ingredients and free of additives. Doesn’t denote a vegan product, but most vegan, cruelty-free products are also organic so this is good to know.
  • Ecocert Organic: At least 95% of the plant-based ingredients are organic. Plant-based ingredients and at least 5% by weight are organic.
  • Premium Body Care: Whole Foods Market has extremely strict body care standards, and this symbol indicates a product contains no parabens, SLS, and over 400 other ingredients the market has banned from the products it carries. Again, does not denote something is vegan, but also good to know.
  • Refer to Insert: This means the container doesn’t include all the product information, so if you’re looking for something 100% vegan, you should take the time to thoroughly inspect and read the leaflet in the box to make doubly sure it’ll work for you.

+ Be sure to check out our vegan beauty products here!!

Free People Blog

Quickie Wellness: Vegan Beauty We Love

Quickie Wellness: Vegan Beauty We Love

So you can cleanse, moisturize and beautify with the peace of mind of being a conscientious citizen of the world…

So, what does vegan skin care actually entail? Simply put, just like vegan food, these products contain no animal-based ingredients, AND, ours are cruelty-free. This collection will genuinely ensure that you feel your best: in mind, body and spirit. And that’s not just a pick-up line. Read on to find out more about some of our favorites and be sure to check out our full line of Vegan Beauty.

Feed Your Volume Shampoo

YAROK’s focus is to make the greatest positive impact on hair and scalp health with the least negative impact on the natural environment. Crafted in the USA from all-natural, 100% vegan ingredients, each YAROK formula is consciously sourced and responsibly harvested to nourish the scalp and serenade the senses. This foaming shampoo, in particular, will boost volume for normal to fine hair. YAROK‘s shampoo will treat the senses with an aromatic blend of organic herbs and flowers while it treats the scalp to vitamins, minerals and essential oils to visibly plump your tresses.

Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil

Pai Skincare manufactures all of its products in West London with a team of two formulation scientists who test the latest natural ingredients and expertly blend them into Pai’s unique products. Refine the appearance of fine lines and revitalize the skin with this all-natural oil. Crafted from antioxidant-rich, certified vegan and organic ingredients, Pai Skincare‘s oil promotes skin elasticity, while visibly restoring a clearer and brighter complexion.

Vitamin C Serum

Mad Hippie is a small, family-owned and -operated business from Portland, Oregon. By using all-natural, chemical free ingredients, each balance-blended product is created to heal and protect the skin. Brighten, tighten and smooth the skin with this uplifting vitamin C-packed serum. Crafted from chemical-free, antioxidant-rich ingredients, Mad Hippie‘s vegan serum works to restore skin to a youthful, refreshing glow.

Gel Cleanser

Youth to the People is located in sunny California, where all of its formula ingredients are sourced. Each product is created in small batches, combining superfoods and science to ensure the freshest and most effective product possible. Balance your skin while removing daily dirt and toxins with this antioxidant-rich gel cleanser. Crafted from cold-pressed superfood extracts and certified vegan ingredients, this gel cleanser promotes a healthy, radiant glow while cleansing pores.

The Super Green Molecule

Mastering the mix of concentrated beauty supplements with anti-inflammatory and hydrating compounds, Fountain products help to keep the body happy from the inside out. Ultra-hydrating and packed with nutrients, this concentrated certified vegan beauty and lifestyle supplement delivers a dose of green superfoods.

+ Have a favorite vegan beauty product of your own? Let us know in the comments below! 

Follow April on Instagram.

Free People Blog

rms: TLF

If you’re in NYC today, 4/8, Rose-Marie Swift will be hosting beauty consultations at our Soho pop-up wellness shop from 1-3pm! Feel free to stop by and say hi! xo

When writer Allie White spoke with rms’ founder, Rose-Marie Swift, in July last year, she made mention of something which stayed with me…

“When someone answers a question about ingredient quality with, ‘I’m not married, I have no kids, and I don’t do drugs anymore, so I spend my money on the best ingredients possible,’ she’s worth getting to know.”

That kind of sold me on rms. So how excited were we to learn that Rose-Marie and team were back with a set of products new to FP: a Signature Set – Pop Collection, Signature Set – Mod Collection, Magic Luminizer and Kabuki Polisher Brush.

We reached out to learn a little bit more about their inception and why you might want to add them into your daily repertoire…

What excites you most about this new set of products?

This is a wonderful opportunity for first time users to experience some of the best sellers of the rms beauty range without breaking their pocketbook.

Can anyone use these products?

These colors are extremely universal and they were curated with that in mind.  Is there a particular woman/personality/skin type that’s best suited for each?  There are no rules for rms beauty products.  They are created to work synergistically with all skin types including people with sensitive skin, oily skin or prone to breakouts. Each ingredients works its magic.

From where did you gather your most recent inspiration?

The inspiration came from the words “simplify and healthy.” No need to pack a huge makeup kit or figure out confusing makeup paint-by-number rules. Easy is the word here.

What colors/trends are you excited about for spring?

I don’t follow the trends. They work great on 16-year-old models with the best hair, makeup and photography but that doesn’t always translate into “wearable.”  I prefer beautiful skin-enhancing makeup that beautifies the woman, not advertising the new color trend on her face.

Your 2017 mantra?

“Less is more!”

Top 5 go-to products for an easy daily beauty routine…

Living Luminizer for the ultimate foolproof glow, eye lash curler to captivate those eyes, a pop of gorgeous lip color, and coconut cream makeup remover to take off all of the day’s fun.
+We <3 rms, check out the their full line of beauty products here

What’s Your (Hair) Type?

Treating your tresses — whether long, curly or color-rich — with cruelty-free care…

LONG LONG LONG

Though many of us long for long locks, it can be a challenge to keep them looking fresh and healthy. If you’re in need of a little pick-me-up, consider Gloss Moderne’s deeply nourishing and sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner. They’ve also got a super glossy masque which reduces frizzy and flyaway hair.

CURLY CUE

If a little bounce is what you’re after, look no further than Tela. Specializing in products for the curly-fortunate among us (complete with clever names), they’ve mastered the ability to restore your hair’s confidence. Check out their replenishing serum for added strength and shine.

COLOR FULL

For those of us who boast a more colorful mane, the folks over at Rahua have just shared their Color Full Shampoo and conditioner, and we couldn’t be more excited. Perfect for adding much-needed moisture and control.

+ Check out all of our hair products here!

Thank you Pamela, Sabina & Charlotte. Photos by Jana Kirn.