There are certain beauty products that I am, to put it plainly, a total sucker for every single time I can get my hands on them: single-serve treatment masks. Red—particularly orangey-red—lipstick. Facial spritzes of every ilk. And anything that smells remotely like coconut (I buy it by the tub at Whole Foods). So the fact that my first introduction to Dr Jackson’s—the line of resolutely natural skincare products created by British pharmacognosist Dr. Simon Jackson and available now at Net-a-Porter—came via a little something called Coconut Melt was, needless to say, a very good thing. The jar of 100 percent organic coconut oil stays solid at room temperature, but, as the name implies, melts at your fingertips. Slathered on dry complexions before bed, as a lip balm, or as a cuticle or hair treatment, it is wondrous. The same is true for the other products in Jackson’s carefully curated line, all which abide by the same overarching philosophies: always natural and ethical, never tested on animals, avoiding the use of endangered plant species, and supporting a carbon offset program and indigenous populations. For the latter, Jackson himself travels the world over to source star natural ingredients like baobab, marula, and kigelia. It is for kigelia, a tree whose extracts and fruit have been discovered to treat a host of skin issues from eczema to acne to sun spots, that Jackson travels to a small community in the Zambezi region of Africa’s Rift Valley to find. Here, Jackson shares images from his latest expedition there in January.
“An example of one of the villages that only farms tobacco, an alien species—a monoculture that cannot be eaten but provides an income to the rural community—something we are trying to stop. [Our goal] is to provide indigenous plants that are sustainable and do not need costly herbicides and pesticides, and have a less detrimental impact on the landscape.”
“Just a few of the specimens of indigenous plants gathered on our Botanical Safari 2014.”
Dr. Jackson on the wettest day ever, during the rainy season, planting indigenous kigelia seedlings.
“One of the many curing barns for crops like tobacco—note the tree stumps. All the indigenous trees are cut down for miles around to provide wood for curing the crops.”
“Some of the volunteers from this year’s tree planting program. We gave out solar-powered flashlights as gifts for help with the tree planting.”
“This is Stella. She is one of the rural community farmers who is planting indigenous trees in her small holding—and such a character!”
“Stella explains what she is doing on her small lot of land. She has over 3,000 tomato plants that she grows and sells in the local market. She makes enough tomatoes to sell for $1, so that’s $3,000 in one crop; she has already put three of her sons through college.”
“The finished planted trees. One day we will be able to harvest the fruit to put in our skin creams.”
If I was ever going to repeat something, especially in a row, it wouldn’t be a juice cleanse. (Consecutive slices of pizza or glasses of champagne? Absolutely.) That’s why I left the detoxing up to our hard-core social media editor, Rachel Walgrove, who doubled up on Suja’s three-day program. (I like to think that she did a round for me.) While all of our editors bit the dust after a day or two, she was still sipping. Here, her thoughts on coming clean (twice):
During fashion month, it’s nearly impossible to maintain any sort of structured schedule—sleep and diet included. When shows end in New York and I’m cranking out content stateside while functioning on a CET time zone, I welcome any and all immune-boosting suggestions. And when desperate times call for last-minute measures, I find myself supplementing extra drops of B12 with quadruple shots of espresso. In a moment of weakness, I even tried caffeinated chocolate (FYI, it’s not nearly as good as it sounds). Truth be told, when it comes to maintaining (or resetting) my system, I prefer the natural route. Enter Suja, a California-based cold-pressed juice company that had been on my radar since the bottles popped up in my Instagram feed. Eager to give it a go, and pressed for adequate mealtimes, I doubled up on the three-day Suja Fresh Start pack and began a six-day foray into digestive rest. (Note: Suja recommends one-, three-, or five-day routines.) The most notable difference between Suja Fresh Start and similar programs is the selection of juices: The three green beverages (Glow, Fiji, and Green Supreme) are broken up by carrot-orange (Fuel) and beet-carrot (Purify) concoctions, until concluding the day with the usual nut-milk-based dessert substitute (Vanilla Cloud). Maybe it was my eagerness for dinnertime, but Green Supreme tasted so good, I found myself replicating the apple-kale-lemon concoction post-cleanse. Six days later, my energy levels were up and caffeine-induced crashes were a thing of the past (though I admittedly surrendered to my black coffee addiction four days in). Despite clashing claims over cleansing, I can happily attest that the occasional just-juice routine resets the system—and the second time really is the charm.
See sujajuice.com for more information
With New York’s glacial temperatures and perpetual snowfall (set to resume on Thursday), we’ve been logging plenty of hibernation hours, hiding out in our apartment reading through a stack of books, getting hooked on True Detective, and, of course, testing many a beauty product. The five that have been adopted into our regular rotation this month happen to all—bonus!—be entirely au naturel.
Tata Harper Love Potion
The mix of ten essential oils (jasmine, ylang-ylang, sandalwood, violet leaf, and frankincense, among them), all known for their aphrodisiac potential, is designed, as the name implies, to attract love. Not to mention reduce anxiety and boost self-confidence. While all that is yet to be seen, what we can report is that the aromatic blend is warm and lovely on the skin, so even if it doesn’t attract any new suitors, it’s easy to fall for.
Lulu Organics Hair Oil
Fans of this Brooklyn brand’s amazing talc-free hair powder can, at long last, add another Lulu product to their beauty trove. Its new paraben-free hair oil—a nourishing blend of argan, horsetail, olive, and apricot kernel oils—is a must for thirsty and curly hair (not to mention it smells divine, courtesy of lavender, clary sage, and rosemary). Dab on a few drops after washing or on dry hair, and style (or don’t) as usual.
Available soon at luluorganicsnyc.com
Kat Burki Beauty Elixir in Rose Peony
We will never, ever (really, ever) tire of a face spritz—in the summer months it’s the perfect beachfront or poolside refresher, and in the winter it offers some soothing relief for skin dried out by moisture-zapping indoor heating. Kat Burki’s version combines hydrating aloe vera and brightening raw grapefruit seeds, and the rose and peony scent is lush and pretty.
Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask
Lucas Papaw acolytes will be quickly and easily wooed by this dense and nourishing Bite Beauty treatment (it may be called a mask, but rest assured, you won’t want to take it off) formulated with jojoba oil, agave, natural olive fruit, and vanilla extract. It managed to almost immediately eradicate some serious cold-weather-born lip cracks, and the matte gray paint-tube-esque packaging is elegant in an understated sort of way.
Pacifica Eye Pencils
We always love a swipe of eyeliner on our inner rims, but occasionally they can prove irritating for sensitive types. Pacifica’s new eye pencils have jojoba oil, shea butter, and vitamin E. Plus, they glide on with zero irritation. We’re particularly fond of Fringe (a chestnut brown) and Gun Metal (a shimmery gray).
A great many have already embraced the haircare gospel of Phylia de M.—the all-natural line created by Kazu Namise—which promises, in three easy steps (Clean, Condition, and Connect, a much-lauded leave-in treatment), to grow thicker, shinier, healthier hair. The body-boosting formula owes its magic to a combination of aloe, tannic acid, and—the real hero—fulvic acid, which was created by Namise’s godfather, Japanese oncologist Dick Miyayama. And it’s the latter that is front and center in Phylia de M.’s latest concoction, Fulphyl, an ingestible blend that stimulates cell regeneration and removes free radicals and toxins—and already has its own set of fans: Jessica Stam recently tweeted that she’s relying on it to regrow her hair. But, besides doing a lot of good from the inside out for your hair and beyond, Namise claims Fulphyl is also quite the multitasker, which, considering the hefty price tag ($220; phylia.com), is particularly good news. Here, three more ways to get your Fulphyl fill.
Drink Up: Because Fulphyl effectively mobilizes nutrients and vitamins into your cells, the best way to take it is to mix in 1 to 2 teaspoons with any of your favorite recipes, from pressed juices to smoothies, soups, or salad dressings. Namise’s favorite Fulphyl cocktail is:
8 oz. pH9 water
10 drops liquid chlorophyll
1/2 organic lemon, squeezed
1 tablespoon of Fulphyl
Make Your Garden Grow: Mix 10 milliliters of Fulphyl with a liter of water, and water your herb or plant garden. This allows for a greater humic process in the soil, which will make for more nutrient-rich and heavy-metal-free soil and plants. And that also makes the harvest more delicious!
Breathe Easy: Put a few drops into your humidifier to combat air pollutants and radiation.
With a blizzard en route to the Big Apple, I can think of no better way to capitalize on a day at the “home office” (i.e., my couch) than exfoliating the effects of an already bitter-cold winter while I work. Instead of physically scrubbing with a battery-operated spin brush, or sloughing away dry patches via harsh chemicals (found in many face peels), Marie Veronique Organics takes a more natural approach—employing a combo of lactic acid, avocado butter, and astaxanthin (a red pond algae hailing from Hawaii that is said to be the most powerful antioxidant on the planet) in its Pacific Exfoliating Moisture Mask. This jasmine-scented gel formula, left on for two to five minutes depending on your skin’s sensitivity, leaves the complexion smooth and hydrated—not stripped or red. Good news, considering that I’ll likely have to face the great outdoors come Monday…and I’d like to brave the streets sans knitted ski mask.