August 21 2014

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2 posts tagged "Rare El’ements"

Beauty By Design


Like the real-estate landscape in Williamsburg, the increasingly gentrified Brooklyn neighborhood’s retail scene is exploding. Boutique after cool boutique seems to be cropping up off the main Bedford Avenue drag, offering up everything from wall-to-wall denim and designer duds to salvaged furniture and “funky” eyeglasses. Caitlin Mociun’s beat at her eponymous concept shop is jewelry—make that jewelry and ceramics. And sculpture. And bags. “It’s all part of a comprehensive lifestyle that I’m promoting,” says the RISD-trained textile designer who dabbled in a fledgling fashion business before turning her attention to baubles two years ago. “It’s nice to make something that has longevity. It feels more sustainable,” she explains of the creative shift, which turned curatorial last March. Following a stint in a pop-up space in downtown Brooklyn, Mociun realized that her wide-ranging taste had more mass appeal than she previously thought. “People liked the same weird shit that I like,” she says of the experience’s takeaway, which prompted her to open a space of her own. The beautiful, white-walled Wythe Avenue venue now houses delicate rings, necklaces, and the like from Wwake, as well as Mociun’s own line, not to mention earthenware from Shino Takeda and Robert Blue, artwork from Genesis Onasis and Katie Krantz, bags from Doug Johnson and Baggu—and the most recent addition to the Mociun lifestyle brand: beauty.

“If you really wanted, you could buy your whole bathroom here,” she says of the purposefully edited selection of soaps and candles from small-batch Brooklyn purveyor Saipua; body care from Aesop, the Australian apothecary company that actually sought her out to stock its array of creams and salves; fragrances from MCMC; extraordinary and hard to come by haircare from Beverly Hills-based Rare El’ements; and, starting this month, One Love Organics skincare. “For me, it’s about finding smaller, more artisanal brands that don’t have a huge array of stuff to pick from,” Mociun explains of her buying process, which also includes an extensive round of “testing” on a diverse group of friends. “I’m open to other things,” she divulges of the prospect of including a makeup brand in the mix going forward—and maybe some additional skincare lines to keep the neighborhood’s increasingly expanding consumer base excited. “They’re building four apartment buildings around the store right now that will accommodate four thousand people,” she points out—at least some of whom, we imagine, will be excited to find an organic, multipurpose skin balm with cold-pressed plant oils, mango butter, and chia-seed extracts just a few doors down.

Mociun, 224 Wythe Ave., NYC, (718) 387-3731.

Photo: Courtesy of Mociun

Rare El’ements To The Hair Rut Rescue


I recently hit a haircare wall. It happens to me every so often; I’ll look into my shower only to discover that I’m uninspired by every shampoo and conditioner in there. Seeing as how I’m a firm believer in updating my haircare arsenal regularly to ensure maximum efficacy from my products, every four months I institute a total overhaul. But the bottles are still half full, you say? I say, toss them and move on—which is exactly what I did this weekend, restocking with a few old favorites as well as a new brand. I first heard about Rare El’ements from Romain Gaillard, co-founder of Odacite. Gaillard, who stocks a well-edited selection of choice, totally natural hair, fragrance, and skincare lines at his Detox Market boutique in L.A., was raving about stylist and former salon owner John Amato’s three-piece line, which was proof positive that I needed to give it a whirl. The first thing I noticed about Rare El’ements was its lush consistency. The sulfate-free shampoo is packed with African watermelon seed oil to dissolve excess sebum, so the formula can deposit its wealth of emollients, like black seed, marula, and rosehip oils, onto a freshly cleansed scalp. Then comes the conditioner, which is actually more of a daily moisture mask than a plain old cream rinse. The aromatic balm is designed to remedy weeks’ worth of styling damage in one shot with a hydrating blend of baobab and macadamia nut oil mixed with cupuacu and phulwara butters from the Amazon. If this all sounds incredibly rich, it’s because it is—yet remarkably, neither the shampoo nor the conditioner weighs hair down. Mine was almost too bouncy after my first trial run, so I resorted to an off-label use of the El’ Treatment Pre-Shampoo Hair and Scalp Treatment to give it my preferred languid, lived-in look. The elixir is meant to be used weekly, but I put a few drops of the camelina, baobab, and marula oil blend on my ends for a bit of piecey definition to much acclaim: One of my esteemed co-workers told me how “well conditioned” my hair has been looking of late—a compliment I will 100 percent take.

Photo: Courtesy of Rare El’ements