The term “zombie hands” has been trending on social-media networks and in gossip rags a lot lately, referring to the unfortunate physical toll that the aging process can take on a woman’s hands. It’s mean-spirited, but so it goes with any catchy meme. We typically try not to participate in such blather, but we’d be lying if we said it didn’t make us scrutinize our own digits a little more closely. Aside from occasional maintenance during the brisk winter months, hand care often falls by the wayside around here—which, as we’re becoming more and more aware, is a gross oversight. Nothing tells your age more than your hands, as they’re rarely treated to the same indulgences as your face—be that retinol creams or Botox vials—a phenomenon Intelligent Nutrients is plenty aware of. The organic, food-grade, ingredient-rich product line has just added a shea-butter-, safflower-oil-, and acai-oil-packed barrier cream, called Hand Therapy, to its certified organic Destress Express collection. A signature blend of peppermint, spearmint, and rosemary oils helps soothe your mind as the extra-emollient salve treats all twenty-five joints, twenty-nine bones, and thirty muscles in your body’s hardest-working appendages to some much-needed pampering. Editor’s note: Personal experience has taught us that exfoliating the backs of hands with a cleansing brush, like the Clarisonic, will help these skin-healing ingredients absorb that much quicker, resulting in an even softer, suppler, younger-looking finish.Available July 2013 at www.intelligentnutrients.com.
I have very little to complain about when it comes to my skin. It registers as fairly normal on a scale of dry to oily, is very rarely reactive, and it only turns against me when I do it wrong by taking on much too much stress. I can use most products on my face—and a similarly large array of makeup, although there is one thing I’m allergic to: almost every name-brand mascara. This does not stop me from using them, mind you. I won’t be separated from my gold tube of Guerlain’s mega-thickening and lengthening Cils d’Enfer formula or the limited-edition, as-yet-unreleased wand of Alber Elbaz-designed, Lancôme Hypnôse Drama that I’ve been hoarding like an eight-year-old with a hard-earned bag of Halloween candy since scoring it at a preview earlier this spring. But they do irritate my eyes after an extended period of time, thanks to a number of common pigments, polymers, and preservatives that are, unfortunately, integral to creating the kind of performance I’ve come to rely on.
There are natural alternatives, of course, but none that work nearly as well: No joke, Guerlain’s mascara mimics the effect of lash extensions, without the $400 service charge and two-hour application process. That said, I am still finding myself impressed with the latest from Kirsten Kjaer Weis. The Danish-born, New York-based makeup artist whose eponymous natural cosmetic range comes in those beautiful, Cartier-like red lacquered boxes has dubbed her latest release the Truly Game-Changing Mascara, and in some ways, it lives up to its name. Coming in at 99.81-percent organic—a feat in and of itself—the cupuacu butter, beeswax and carnauba wax, and castor-seed oil formula separates and darkens lashes and smells of rose oil and lavender flower water, rather than that peculiar mascara aroma that is hard to describe but readily identifiable. Guerlain, it is not: You have to swipe on at least four coats to get a noticeable flutter, and even then, it doesn’t compare to the girth of a synthetic, prestige alternative. But it wears well all day and, in perhaps better news, never necessitates a precarious eye rub.
There’s something up down under. The past few years have seen an uptick in the number of excellent green-leaning exports to come out of Australia and New Zealand, and we’re beginning to wonder if a “work” trip is in order to properly explore the local beauty bounty. Following introductions to brands such as Snowberry, Original Mineral, and Black Chicken, we are acutely aware of the embarrassment of natural-ingredient riches that exist in the region—and that much more impressed with Sans[ceuticals] because of it.
The brainchild of Auckland-based beauty expert Lucy Marr, Sans is a potent blend of nature and science, and the latest addition to Marr’s New Zealand mini empire, which includes hair salons with her husband, Stephen, Lucy & the Powder Room spas, and The Department Store, a boutique retail concept she co-owns with designer Karen Walker. Noticing that the new generation of technology emerging in facial care wasn’t as available for hair and body, the seeds for Sans were planted. “It surprised me, because skin is our largest organ and 70 percent of what is topically applied is absorbed into the bloodstream,” she says. It compelled Marr to consult Dr. Annette Lasham, a leading scientist in oncology and genetics, to develop an 17-piece range of chemical-free, highly active formulas. Baobab oil (a phytolipid rich in omegas 3, 6, and 9), bamboo grounds brimming with silica, blood-flow-stimulating ginseng, and cell-regenerating fennel and visnaga vera extracts feature heavily in products like Sans’ Activator 7 Body + Face + Hair Oil, Bio Active Body Exfoliator, and pH & Shine Corrector, which restores hair to its virgin state. “There’s a huge amount of women that want more than just nice-smelling, seminatural products,” says Marr, whose offerings are now being stocked at Woodley & Bunny stateside. As some of those women, we’re plenty excited to welcome the collection into our arsenal.
Two years ago, when Miranda Kerr was quoted saying that she “will not go a day without coconut oil,” pointing out that she typically ingests about four tablespoons of the essential fatty acid-rich elixir a day, sales of the stuff spiked. That’s just a small window into how influential the Victoria’s Secret model has become on matters of health and wellness. An avid yoga practitioner and a fan of eating raw and organic, Kerr caught the attention of the beauty world when she launched her own all-natural skincare line, KORA Organics—a twenty-one-piece lineup of face and body essentials—that is as eco-luxe as it gets. “The range is exactly what I was looking for myself but was unable to find,” says Kerr. “I receive daily testimonies from customers all over the world who have firsthand seen the benefits of using KORA,” she insists—although getting a steady supply of the natural-ingredient-packed range is easier said than done if you live outside of Australia.
But that’s all about to change. This week, Kerr has announced an exclusive partnership with Net-a-Porter, whose newly launched beauty section will now stock select KORA items for a broader, American and European audience. “I personally love to shop at Net-a-Porter. It’s an easy, luxurious experience,” Kerr admits, adding that her Revitalizing Body Pack is a great place to start if you’re new to the line. “It includes my essentials for radiant, glowing skin for your body: Exfoliating Cream, Energizing Citrus Mist, Enriched Body Lotion, and Luxurious Rosehip Body Oil. [The oil] is one of my all-time favorite products.”
As for Kerr’s other tips for maintaining an angelic body—and lifestyle—she’s all about balance. “I live by the 80/20 rule. Moderation is key and essential. I try my best to fill my body with healthy organic food when I can, but enjoy a little indulgence every now and then! I believe if we choose to fill our bodies with healthy food, our minds with healthy thoughts, and nurture our spirit with rituals we enjoy, it can lead to a solid foundation of happiness.” Noted.
For all the Dr. Hauschka fans out there who discovered the singular joy of layering the all-natural brand’s aromatherapeutic body lotions onto parched limbs last spring when they first launched, a piece of good news: This month, the good doctor has delivered a new crop of body washes in four, corresponding scents. The soap-free formula that is spiked with avocado and sesame seed oils to support balanced hydration, as well as quince seed extract to foster a supple skin texture, is available in Lemon Lemongrass, a revitalizing aroma that packs an energetic punch; Lavender Sandalwood, which ushers in a feeling of overall calm; Rose, a comforting essence that nurtures as it tones; and, our personal favorite, Almond, which imparts a soothing sensation, the promise of which makes it that much easier to drag yourself out of bed and into the shower each morning. For best results, lather, rinse—and repeat while taking in a deep breath of sweet, scented steam.