This post has been in the making for months, if not years, but I’ve always felt that „oh, I still need to try this“ or „cannot really do it before I’ve used that“. Obviously, that’s not a very smart way to approach the topic, as I’ll never be able to test every product and new brands are popping up all the time. So bear in mind that this is a personal take, as always, based on my limited experience.
I don’t use green beauty exclusively or even mostly. The whole non-toxic rhetoric and ingredient paranoia frankly drives me crazy. I have nothing against synthetics* and I wonder if 7 billion people suddenly started using natural products, what would it do to our planet? But never mind, I’m always in favour of variety and innovation and it’s great that there are now green products available that are actually effective. And gorgeous. Personally, I tend to use natural options mostly in the cleanser, balm and oil category, but there are exceptions that we’ll come to shortly.
What finally pushed me to write this was the De Mamiel discovery set that I recently ordered and fell in love with. De Mamiel is an organic brand that firs became known for their seasonal oils. There is a lot of talk about rituals, life’s energy and Chinese medicine on the web site that doesn’t really chime with me, but the products are beautiful. I liked every single thing in the set and some I adored. The cleansing oil is possibly my new favourite and that’s saying something, as I really like my Votary, Caudalie and Tatcha cleansing oils. I have the full size sunscreen that is probably one of the best mineral sunscreens on the market. I especially like that it has a slight tint, so if I’m having a good skin weekend, I wear it alone.
My favourite product in the whole line-up was – surprisingly – the serum: Intense Nurture Antioxidant Elixir. Now, I have a pretty heavy-duty beauty routine, so it almost never happens that something gives me an overnight result. It may have been a coincidence, but my skin looked extra good the morning after using this. I was so impressed, I used it the next three days both morning and evening and things only got better. Then I unfortunately run out of product, so I cannot really give you a proper review. I have ordered the full size based on my initial experience and I’m frankly astonished that a natural serum could hold its own compared to my best medical products.
De Mamiel isn’t the only green beauty brand out there that delivers. I’m sure some of them are even affordable, but this post focuses on the ones that can truly be called luxurious – and have the prices to match. De Mamiel products come in black glass bottles that are great for protecting the contents from the sun, the boxes are gorgeous, the scents amazing, the textures lovely and cosmetically elegant; most of the ingredients are certified organic, some wild harvested. For the high-end green beauty, this is pretty much standard these days.
There is so much interesting happening right now, but here are five other brands you might want to check out:
1. May Lindstrom. The queen of green beauty, May Lindstrom has an almost religious following among natural beauty fans. Not without reason: the products are the very definition of green luxury, with high quality ingredients and beautiful packaging. The intensely turquoise Blue Cocoon balm is possibly the most iconic green beauty product ever. There are two (or one and a half) downsides. First, the prices are very, very high. If bought from Cult Beauty, for example, The Blue Cocoon costs around 200 euros (it’s a bit cheaper in the US). The Jasmin Garden face mist is almost 80 euros – it’s the nicest face mist I’ve ever tried, but it’s still a face mist. Second, if you are very result-driven and don’t care much about the ritualistic and aromatherapeutic aspects of skincare, May Lindstrom is probably not the best fit for you. It’s not that the products don’t work – they do, but what makes them special is not their effectiveness.
2. Tata Harper. This American beauty brand is known for being green both literally and metaphorically – they use the most wonderful green glass bottles. Tata has been on the blog many times before, but it would be strange not to mention the brand at all. Caroline Hirons regularly talks about Tata Harper eye creams and moisturisers and if you’re interested, check out her recommendations here. Their most famous products are, however, their cleansers. All four are good, but their Purifying Cleanser is in my personal top 3 of all time. I just wish they stopped using the word “non-toxic”…
3. Votary. Many next generation green beauty brands come from the US (although I believe the founder of De Mamiel is Australian), but Votary is from the UK. They are very much focussed on oils. If I’m suspecting that De Mamiel Pure Calm Cleansing Dew might be my new favourite oil cleanser, it has some tough competition Votary’s Superseed Cleansing Oil. It is wonderful and their flannel is the best I’ve ever come across. They have also just launched many new interesting products – from body oils to a retinoid oil – that I’m very tempted to try. Another great British brand is Oskia, well known for their legendary Renaissance cleanser.
4. Kypris. There was a period where the beauty blogosphere was full of Kypris products. I was late to the party, but when I received their Beauty Elixir I as part of my Cult Beauty X Caroline Hirons box, I fell in love. I’m not a big fan of oils, but this one is beautiful: rose-based, hydrating, soothing and just wonderful to use. I’m currently using their Antioxidant Dew serum that I also like and have about five of their products on my wish list.
5. Vintner’s Daughter. Talking about oils: it’s impossible to put together a list like this without Vintner’s Daughter’s Active Botanical Serum. If The Blue Cocoon has competition in the most iconic green beauty product department, here it is. I was initially on the fence about this one, as I wasn’t sure it did much for my skin. I’ve tried it again recently and like it more now, but it’s still not a must-have for me (for 200 euros, I expect pretty major results). This doesn’t mean it’s not a good product: it’s an oil serum and oils don’t tend to work spectacularly for me. Almost everyone I trust on the topic of skincare loves it, so by all means, give it a go.
Do you have a favourite green beauty brand? Yes? No? Why? Anything you’re curious about?
*In principle. I may have something against some specific synthetics.