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).
When Anatole Rainey, the freshly appointed Dior International Nail Designer, first came to Paris, it was to learn French. As fate would have it, he found himself behind the scenes at fashion shows and on shoots, putting his hobby—painting—to work for the likes of Cate Blanchett, Keira Knightley, Kate Moss, and Gisele Bündchen. “I just started helping out a manicurist friend and it kind of turned into a job,” he explained with characteristic modesty.
And not just any job. Today, Rainey splits his time between his native London and Paris, where he brings his considerable talents to Dior’s ever-expanding line of lacquers. “The relaunch of the Dior Vernis polish is exciting because I love color, shine, and shading. It has the finish of a gel, and the adhering power of techno polymer glass technology,” he said, bringing it all back down to earth with, “[This new formula] really grabs onto the nail.”
Rainey’s not giving anything away, of course, but already the limited-edition Nail Artistry Box (launching April 1 in Europe) makes it possible to paint Monsieur Dior’s favorite symbols—such as stars and clovers—onto the nail. (One of his favorite looks for summer: sailor blue stars on an otherwise transparent nude manicure.) “Some people love 3-D nail art, but I like to interpret it in a slightly more chic way. It’s more graphic and simple,” he said, adding, “Let’s just say there’s more to come than nail polish.”
London-based Alexandra Soveral may be able to boast quite the career backslash—aromatherapist/cosmetic designer/facialist—but among those in-the-know, she could simply go by “the skin whisperer.” That’s because Soveral, who first launched her eponymous natural skincare and bespoke fragrance brand with Jorj Aleem in 1995 and watched it grow, primarily through word of mouth, is best known for her signature facial treatments. The aromatherapy-based facials, which rely heavily on pressure-point massage, are continually in demand, prized for their detoxing and seemingly skin-lifting effects; Soveral even hosted a weeklong pop-up in New York in January. And soon, Net-a-Porter (bless them) will be stocking her cult skincare product line so even those of us in a state of complexion disrepair across the pond can access its restorative effects without having to book a trip to London. Here, the beloved naturalist shares some of her local go-tos.
THE REGENERATIVE RETREAT: Yeotown
“To detox, regenerate, and feel nurtured, the best place on earth is this amazing country house in North Devon. There you will find yoga, country walks, and delicious nutritional meals. It’s a very special place where quality, good taste, and sustainability reign.”
THE SALON STOP: Daniel Hersheson at Harvey Nichols
“It’s easy to access, the service consistent and efficient, yet it’s a relaxed environment where you feel you are being taken good care of. Any of the Hersheson Salons or Blow Dry Bars have a lot to offer, but I personally go to Hersheson at Harvey Nichols. You can check in for a whole day and have everything done from head to toe whilst working on their customer iPads. They will even order you a champagne lunch if that’s what you fancy! Libby does my cut; she’s amazing in that she can do something you can easily maintain at home and looks super-stylish. Sibby does my color when I have time. She’s also amazing at making you look like you never had color done—just natural, shiny hair.”
THE WARDROBE ESSENTIALS
“I love the feel of silk on the skin, and I love color, especially during the dark winter months. My work wardrobe consists mainly of Tucker silk dresses for when I’m seeing clients and Tucker blouses that I wear with boyfriend jeans on laboratory days. When I want to sharpen things up for an important meeting, I go for Peridot London—their modern tailoring makes me feel powerful yet fashionable. To keep up with the trends and upcoming designers, the best places are Viola in the West End and Celestine Eleven in East London. Both shops are owned by top stylists who buy what they like most from the latest collections.”
THE BEAUTY ROUTINE
“I start the morning by dry brushing the skin on my face and neck, all in upwards and outwards movements. This wakes up the lymphatic system so that you can detoxify and reduce puffiness. Next, I cleanse with Soveral Awaken, followed by a face massage with oil to stimulate the muscles and activate the circulation, and then moisturize with Soveral Formula 1. In the evening I always do a deep pore cleanse with Soveral Angel Balm that I remove with a damp, hot, fluffy flannel—nothing makes you feel more clean. I finish with another oil massage, this time using Soveral Midnight Oil.”
THE MAKEUP MUSTS
“My favorite concealer is from Laura Mercier; it’s really efficient and blends perfectly into the skin. I love Tom Ford for color, and the textures of the Aerin range are just divine. The Aerin Multi Color for Lips and Cheeks is 100 percent spot-on in consistency—it has become my handbag essential. When not wearing makeup, you can use it to give yourself quick and subtle lift.”
THE SIGNATURE SCENT
“I design bespoke fragrance for my clients and also formulate for other brands, so I always wear whatever I’m working on…sometimes two at a time, one on each arm! However, I very much admire the work of Frédéric Malle—the Editions de Parfums collection is an amazing range of individual works of art. I would urge anyone who wants to explore perfume to spend some time finding out which one suits them. What may smell beautiful on one person may smell overpowering and even nauseating on another—that’s what true perfume is all about.”
THE EXERCISE PROGRAM
“I actually just started running for the first time a year ago…at the age of 42! It’s so liberating—all I need to do is get out the door and start [jogging]. Having a good playlist on my iPod is important because the music carries me. I’m also a member of the Harbour Club; there’s one in Notting Hill and another one in Chelsea Harbour. They have great classes, a gym, and swimming pools so you can keep things varied. I like old-fashioned Pilates without any machines to aid me, as I believe you are more in touch with your core muscles that way. I’ve also just discovered Pilates Barre, which is the same concept but standing up holding onto the barre. I feel like a ballerina, and it’s really efficient.”
Matching your hair to your clothes, as seen on the runway at Marc Jacobs this season, seems a bit impractical for life off the catwalk. After all, it would require quite the commitment to a single color palette to pull off the head-to-toe look put forth by the designer. Leave it to Tilda Swinton, however, to show us laypeople how it’s done. At last night’s screening of Only Lovers Left Alive in Los Angeles, the sartorial risk-taker coordinated her cropped blond cut to her jacket, skirt, and heels. The end result was anything but monotone.
Legs often go into hibernation during winter, shielded from the elements by skinny jeans; leather leggings; and thick, woolly tights. But even the deepest frost—or most punishing Polar Vortex—has to eventually end. And with it, comes warmer temps—and the desire to bare your legs once again. I, for one, am taking the optimistic view that this seasonal shift is right around the corner, and I’m making preparations to have my limbs in fantastic shape. Or at the very least, not looking scary. Top of my priority list: regular doses of a deeply powerful moisturizer. After months (and months!) of brutally cold weather, it sorta goes with the territory that we all have dry, scaly patches. Even the thickest body cream can’t heal my situation, and honestly, I really don’t want to deal with the greasy residue those leave behind anyway. Enter Colbert MD Illumino Body Oil, a new, splurge-worthy blend of high-performance oils—marula, argan, yangu, passion fruit, and borage seed—designed to render skin soft and notably non-sticky. The companion to the New York dermatologist’s coveted Illumino Face Oil, the lightweight fluid rids you of crocodile flakes with the added benefit of boosting elasticity. Ideally, you’ll want to apply after a shower when your body is still slightly damp to maximize the absorption of its hydrating ingredients. Stick with this routine for a few days and you’ll be thinking: Spring can’t come soon enough.
Colbert MD Illumino Body Oil, $100; colbertmd.com