As far as we can tell, the beauty industry is booming in Australia and New Zealand. Aside from the international expansion of Aesop, the Melbourne apothecary brand, a wealth of lines from Down Under are starting to trickle onto our shores. Between Sodashi’s Western Australian-sourced masks and mists, Snowberry’s farm-raised face favorites, and Original & Mineral’s ammonia-free hair color system and accompanying products boosted by indigenous ingredients, it’s enough to make you plenty curious about the countries’ collective bounty of natural resources—one of which just might be a populace that is hungry for more ways to primp; it’s no small coincidence that SK-II chose to hold the global press event announcing Kate Bosworth as its new brand ambassador in Sydney rather than New York or L.A.
And the innovation just keeps coming. The latest Aussie product range to cross our radar is Black Chicken, a 100-percent organic, essential-oil-based line that recently became available for the first time in the States. Founded by aromatherapist Chey Birch, who got into the therapeutic and reparative benefits of olfactive elixirs 20-plus years ago, the pared down collection of skin-nourishing products includes standouts like the Love Your Face Serum and Birch’s best-selling Love Your Body Oil. There’s a homeopathic element to the blend of sandalwood, geranium, patchouli, lavender, carrot, ylang-ylang, and nutmeg extracts rooted in a base of avocado, rosehip, hazelnut, and coconut oil, too, in that a simple slathering will relieve dehydrated, aging limbs while the intoxicating scent will soothe the soul. As for the brand’s name, its origin story is just as compelling. According to the aboriginal folklore, there was an old crone named Black Chicken who was renowned for her healing powers. “People came to her with their problems and ailments—for comfort, for salves, for oils and herbs, for creams and cures; they told their stories and for each she had a little magic to spare,” as the story goes. “But only those with good hearts were admitted. Those who had forgotten how to trust sought her door in vain.” Words to remember when you walk through the threshold at Shen Beauty in Brooklyn, where the range is currently sold exclusively.