Interior designer turned beauty-brand founder Kat Burki, knows how to dress up a room—both with her keen eye for decor and her signature collection of aromatic candles and soaps. (It all started when Burki created Tuberose-scented soaps and candles to leave as gifts for her clients, which quickly developed a cult following.) Now she’s stripping away the frills and fragrance (along with parabens, sulfates, mineral oils, and dyes) and focusing on high-quality, natural ingredients with her new collection, Raw Beauty. “I’ve always emphasized the usage of raw materials, even as an interior designer,” says Burki. Comprised of four products—hand cream, body scrub, body butter, and a lip treatment—the line is laced with an organic herb blend (consisting of gotu kola, chamomile, arnica, and lavender) designed to soothe, soften, and improve the skin’s elasticity. Even better: All the products smell clean and elegant, not crunchy like other green goods I’ve tried. My personal favorite: the Glossy Lip Treatment. Never a fan of plumping lip glosses (the discomfort that goes hand in hand with the bee-stung look just isn’t worth it), I’m happy to report that Burki’s balm boasts moisturizing vitamin-E, organic beeswax, coconut, and castor-seed oils, along with cinnamon essential oil to subtly pump up your pout (minus the pain). Going back to the basics never felt so luxe.
Available at katburki.com and, later this month, Space NK.
Wellness has never been a passing trend for Neal’s Yard—really, it’s at the core of every product the British apothecary-style brand has been dreaming up since opening its doors in London’s Covent Garden neighborhood back in 1981. For years, my own bathroom cabinet has been permanently stocked with an array of the company’s remedies: the Wild Rose Beauty Balm, for wintertime dry skin; the Rehydrating Rose Toner (formerly known simply as Rose Water), for a refresher and sun-sensitized skin soother during the throes of summer; the wonderfully aromatic Seaweed & Arnica Foaming Bath, for serious relief from muscle strains; and the surprisingly effective Beauty Sleep Concentrate, for bouts of insomnia. The brand has already delved into the world of inside-out beauty products, and now it’s supplementing its collection with four new Boosts: Vitamin C Boost with Rosehip for Immunity; an antiaging (and skin-, hair-, and nail-strengthening) Beauty Boost with Frankincense; a Multi-Vitamin & Mineral Boost; and a Super Antioxidant Boost. All are made using 100 percent natural and organic ingredients, and are free of gluten, yeast, preservatives, and synthetic fillers. Considering I could use a boost in all of the aforementioned areas, I’m planning a daily cocktail of supplements starting now.
For bottles with sixty capsules, $21.50 to $29.50 each, see nyrorganic.com
Many summers ago, I spent a few months living abroad in Rougemont, Switzerland, at a French-language school. It was a lot like boarding school, set in the Alps. While I didn’t retain much French beyond on y va!, I did return with a Swiss appreciation for all things outdoorsy and natural. So a rush of memories came back when I recently discovered Jardin des Monts, a company based in the Pays-d’Enhaut valley, a district in the foothills of the Swiss mountains that’s stocked with top-notch spas such as the Gstaad Palace. Founded by horticulturalists Charlotte Landolt and Laetitia Jacot, the range includes herbal teas, fruit- and herb-infused syrups, and wild-crafted skincare goods, all made with 100 percent organic plants and botanicals grown in the lush pastures that surround an eighteenth-century chalet the duo restored in 2006.
A favorite in the collection is the Edelweiss Lip Balm, a magical formula that’s intensely hydrating yet non-sticky in texture, composed of an edelweiss herbal tincture, chamomile, healing beeswax, and cold-press plant oils, including sunflower, apricot, lavender, and rose geranium. Thanks to its nourishing capabilities, the lip balm works especially well as an overnight lip treatment to rid dry skin, or as a matte base. While it’s hard to find the line in the States, you can pick it up online or, better yet, in person. The founders allow full-day visits to their idyllic headquarters, which include a tour of the gardens and pastures, where a flock of goats roam (love!), and a lunch made with seasonal ingredients and goat cheese. On y va, indeed.
For golden, beachy skin, self-tanner is one way to go. Another, subtler option is to apply a dry oil. These intensely nourishing elixirs are often spiked with essential oils and botanicals that seal in long-lasting moisture, resulting in a luminous, rosy skin tone that doesn’t look streaky or, worse, like it came from a bottle. The only catch is that some dry oils aren’t dry enough and can leave your limbs feeling a bit sticky. Une Nuit a Bali’s The Dry Oil is a unique find that sinks in deeply, imparting glow minus the grease factor. The secret? An all-natural ingredient list that includes manketti oil, which is rich in omega-6 and forms an ultrafine protective barrier over skin when exposed to sunlight; bran rice oil to boost circulation; jasmine absolute to brighten the skin; and ylang-ylang essential oil, prized for its aromatic and soothing properties. Try massaging a thin layer over your body before hitting the beach, or mixing the oil with a few drops of water to create an emollient lotion (it smells amazing). If you apply too much or just decide you want a more matte look, sweep on the brand’s The Massage Powder; its particles soak up any excess oil and render skin velvety soft with a delicate floral scent.
Vancouver-founded Ilia Beauty has earned a following among those seeking a cleaner, greener lipstick with plenty of bold color and modern packaging. The violet-berry Ink Pot is a personal favorite, and like every item in the range, it’s packed with high-quality certified-organic ingredients. But if you prefer a sheer shine as opposed to a matte punch of pigment, behold the brand’s new lip glosses. Originally slated for release last fall, the collection hit a production snag early on. “The oils disliked the bottle so much that they pushed their way to the surface,” says founder Sasha Plavsic of the technical difficulty that resulted in cracks and leaks at the tops of the tubes. Rather than alter the 90 percent organic formula, a lovely blend that includes oils from coconut, sesame, thyme, rosemary, orange, and jasmine, Plavsic decided instead to source a sturdier new container capable of handling the powerful botanicals. The six shades, ranging from nude to oxblood, deliver a serious dose of moisture and subtle tint.