Exclusive: Model Courtney Coll on Skincare, Gardening, and DIY Beauty Brews

Updated 09/10/19
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With her uniquely laid-back style, tousled red hair, and fresh and freckled complexion, Courtney Coll encapsulates a sense of California cool that seems long gone—save for hazy, sun-bleached polaroids from the '60s and '70s. Coll isn't just a pretty face, though. She's also a bonafide plant goddess and founder of Potions n' Motions, a line of all-natural and "home brewed" beauty products formulated with plants and herbs sourced from local farms and gardens, including her own. The products, which range from homemade witch hazel brews to a hydrating hydrosol named Rustic Root spray, are all made with natural ingredients and look intriguingly witchy. In a beauty space that grows more crowded by the day, Coll's pared-back, back-to-basics beauty mentality and connection to the earth is delightfully refreshing (not to mention serving us some serious #greenthumbgoals). We caught up with the multi-hyphenate model, brand founder, and beauty buff to talk about her career, her skincare routine, and her favorite beauty brew recipes. Keep scrolling to meet your next beauty muse.

Courtney Coll
Photos by Monroe Alvarez

How did you first get into modeling? 

Courtney Coll: The first job I got was from me being street-casted in Venice. Back then, I was not interested in getting into the industry, but once I signed via Freedom Models and started getting jobs with an agent, it grew on me. I have had an amazing career so far and have met so amazing people from it. It’s fun for me to jump into so many different characters, and collaborate on creating art with people. My two worlds of gardening and modeling collide—and stay interesting on the daily!

What's one of your favorite on-set memories? 

CC: There are so many! I love when I’m working with makeup artists I know who are using clean products. Since I don’t wear makeup, I really love it when someone has stuff that does not irritate my skin, and is knowledge behind what's in the products they are using. The industry is changing for the better right now and there are so many amazing clean products coming out that are safe to use on the skin. I stand by a lot of small business that are working with medicinal herbs as well as organic oils.

What's your current skincare routine? 

CC: I use all Osea products and my Potions n Motions hydrosols daily!! I wash my face at night with the Osea Ocean Cleanser ($48), then I use Hyaluronic Sea Serum ($88) and, top off with Advanced Protection Cream ($108). Osea has been amazing on my skin and hydrates it the best. They use sourced algae in almost all the products, which is amazing for skin. My skincare routine happens mainly at night with deep moisturization and I will just spray my hydrosols all day.

Q: What about hair? How do you keep your hair color bright?

CC: The sun! Living in California, I am typically in the sun a lot, but it’s super important to me that I go in and out of the sun in increments. I often try to wear a hat to make sure my hair is protected. My scalp gets dry easily with the sun as well, so I use a homemade rosemary-infused coconut oil. I rub that into my scalp before I wash my hair in the shower to keep it moisturized. After that, I use Griffin Remedy Conditioner ($9). I only shampoo my hair if it has hair spray or others products in it from a shoot that day. Otherwise, I usually just stick to conditioner when washing. After my shower, I'll brush my hair and then let it air-dry back into my natural curl. My hair does not need much!

Courtney Coll

Q: You have such beautiful freckles. Have you always embraced them?

CC: Thank you! Actually, I always have...there was never a point in my life that I didn’t like my freckles. They have always been a unique part of me which I have loved. As funny as it is, when people compliment me about them I sometimes forget that I have freckles! I think it’s a beautiful part of me and who I am. My personality is very all over the place and I can relate with the freckles being the same way.

Q: How do you keep yourself grounded while working in an industry like modeling?

CC: Staying grounded is so important while working within the modeling industry because you are traveling so much that you have to find that within yourself whereever you go. I have a whole routine that I practice and start my morning with. Creating a routine for myself helps me stay grounded when I am traveling for work. When I am home, my routine is to make a cup of Canyon Coffee, light a Bodha Incense, check the garden and read a little passage in whatever book I am reading at the time. 

Q: What's your favorite way to unwind?

CC: Road-trip! It does not sound like unwinding, but it really puts me in a good state of mind. I love the west coast and all it has to offer. From the desert to mountains, we really have so much to explore! My favorite spot to visit in California is Tahoe. I lived there for a year of my life. It definitely was an amazing experience. The hiking, lake, kayaking, and the scenery of the mountains is breathtaking. I recommend everyone take a trip there weather it summer or winter. It's something I always do.

Courtney Coll
 Photos by Monroe Alvarez

Q: What inspired you to start Potions n Motions? 

CC: Honestly, living in a city inspired me to start creating Potions n Motions. I am very inspired by the mountains and what plant medicine has to offer. There is so much more to learn and experiment with which keeps me creating new potions daily. 

Q: How did you get into gardening, and how does it make you feel when you are in your garden? 

CC: I started gardening because I always enjoyed and was curious by the growth of a seed. It has always fascinated me the plant life! Urban gardening in a city is a fun hobby for me when I’m not able to be up in Northern California growing on a larger scale. Right now I am growing tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers, beans, watermelon, jalapeños, sunflowers, passion fruit, figs, herbs, and assortment of medicinal flowers. The just keep growing and growing!

Q: Can you share some of your favorite beauty "brews" from your garden and how they work? 

CC: I always found my skin was very dry living in Los Angeles, so spraying my face multiple times with hydrosols I make always hydrates it. A hydrosol is a plant water extract made by using a copper distiller. I grow geranium and other medicinal flowers in my garden, and will take the plant matter to create a plant water. Different medicinal herbs help different skin types. For example, my skin is very dry, so I like using geranium, tulsi (holy basil), calendula, and aloe. 

I have also been brewing witch hazel, which for me is a very powerful thing because there are so many benefits and uses to witch hazel. Mixing a little bit of my home-brewed witch hazel and the hydrosols makes my favorite spray, which is called Rustic Roots. 

Q: What are your tips for anyone who is interested in starting their own garden?

CC: Patience. It doesn’t always work the first time you try, but that doesn’t mean you should give up! To me, it’s so important moving into the future knowing and experiencing this knowledge. Good soil and clean water will go a long way. A great starting point would be to read the book by Rosemary Gladstar, Medicinal Herbs: A Beginner’s Guide. She is a goddess in the gardening world and helps explain where to begin and the importance of herbs.

Credits:
Photographer: Monroe Alvarez @dontbeafool
Model: Courtney Coll / Freedom Models LA

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