Recently, I met a group of really wonderful people at a networking event, and what first struck me was how much they radiated beauty. But not in the way most celebrities do. This felt different… effortless. When I approached them, I came upon a conversation about all-natural beauty products and what it means to live a balanced life. What they all had in common, I realized (other than otherworldly skin), was a completely organic beauty regimen. Because I had recently dipped my toe in the all-natural pond, I wasn’t totally surprised that the goodness they were putting in and on their bodies was really working for them.
In an effort to look more naturally gorgeous like these lovely ladies, I collected advice from a bunch of small businesses that make their living selling effective, all-natural beauty products. I asked them to explain their businesses as well as suggest their number one beauty rule—because if anyone can get you glowing, it’s these experts.
Etta + Billie creates locally inspired, sustainable bath and body products combining a holistic view of self-care and the unique food culture of San Francisco. Each product is made in small batches using certified organic or fair-trade oils, organic botanicals, and natural essential oils—absolutely no artificial colors, additives, or scents. The result: divine-smelling soaps, scrubs, and lotions that leave your skin clean, hydrated, and silky smooth.
“Always read the ingredient list! If you feel iffy about an ingredient, read up on it and decide if it’s something you want on your skin. My big no-no ingredient is synthetic fragrance. My brands of choice are Etta + Billie, Laurel Whole Plant Organics Masks, Suki Cleanser, and Aesop Primrose Facial Cream.” — Alana Rivera, founder of Etta + Billie
Mi-Me is a handmade-beauty company based in Miami. Founded by friends Gilbert Chrispin and Liz Auguste, Mi-Me came about as a result of their desire to create affordable, luxurious bath and body products made with natural ingredients you can actually pronounce.
“Our number one beauty rule is that exfoliation is a must. It helps achieve healthy glowing skin, doesn’t require a lengthy time commitment, and can be done by a complete amateur or seasoned pro. We recommend using our Brightening Bamboo Cleansing Grains, Coconut Lip Buffer, and Vetiver Dark Sugar Scrub as often as desired." — Gilbert Chrispin and Liz Auguste, founders of Mi-Me
Featuring a variety of handmade organic soaps, body oils, and uniquely fragrant natural perfumes with eco-conscious packaging, Osmia begins with select handpicked ingredients. Founder Sarah Villafranco considers quality over cost savings, buying the most beautiful raw plant materials she can find, even if they are more expensive.
“Skin health is a manifestation of whole health: You can’t have beautiful skin unless you are taking care of the whole machine. Diet, exercise, stress management, and positive thought patterns are as much a part of a beauty routine as any products. In fact, no products can save your skin from the effects of neglecting your health. That being said, have one splurge product in your routine at all times, even if it means planning ahead and saving for it. Sensual luxury products, like our Nectar Vital Rose Drops or Amethyst Body Essence, are like a calming cup of tea or an extraordinary glass of wine—they make you drop into the moment and remind you that you are beautiful, alive, and worth the investment.” — Sarah Villafranco, M.D., founder of Osmia Organics
Cultivar formulates products from plant-based certified organic ingredients. Working out of Brooklyn, New York, founder Clara Williams incorporates elements of the rich traditions of ayurveda, herbalism, and aromatherapy to create her line of truly effective plant-based skincare and body products. The ingredients are carefully sourced from trusted suppliers who maintain a guarded chain of custody to ensure that these premium ingredients make it from farm to workshop in pure, unadulterated condition.
“The number one beauty rule for me is to exfoliate. I have overactive skin and am prone to breakouts and clogged pores if I don’t exfoliate three to four times a week. Cultivar’s Organic Turmeric and Hibiscus Face Scrub keeps everything clean and clear and even helps to fade hyperpigmentation. This seriously keeps my skin looking its very best.” — Clara Williams, founder of Cultivar
This is an artisan line of small-batch, handcrafted organic health and vanity products born from Brandy Monique’s love affair with botanicals and various earth elements. All the materials used—from the vibrant roots, leaves, flowers, minerals, and oils to the glass containers the products live in—are selected for beauty, health, and purity and designed to evoke these qualities for the user.
“Stay hydrated! I keep two things on me that I employ almost compulsively as second nature: a bottle of water (with a bit of flower essence or herbal tincture boosters) and a bottle of Complexion Water. It’s noticeable both in my level of calmness and in my skin whether I’ve been sipping and spritzing enough that day or not.” — Brandy Monique, founder of Fig + Yarrow
Seed to Serum grew out of a desire to understand the connection between the beauty products that we habitually apply daily and the ultimate health of our skin. What started as a seemingly innocent fascination with oils and balms quickly progressed into a passion for poring over labels and ingredient lists. Owner Megan Schwarz has created a dedicated space housing effective skincare and beauty options to help you achieve transformation.
“Whether you prefer oils, balms, lotions, or gels, make moisture a priority! Failing to adequately nourish your skin can lead to flakiness, sensitivity, breakouts, dullness, and fine lines. I love antioxidant- and fatty acid–rich products that treat while they hydrate, like Laurel Facial Serum: Anti-inflammatory and Mahalo The Rare Indigo.” — Megan Schwarz, founder of Seed to Serum
Plant makes “apothecary goods with a conscience.” The Brooklyn-based studio was founded by husband-and-wife team Holly McWhorter and Bjarke Ballisager, who share a passion for environmental friendliness, natural beauty and grooming, social responsibility, Scandinavian modern lines, and a good sense of humor.
“It may seem obvious, but stay away from poison, both inside and out! This of course means keeping toxic ingredients off your skin, since they’re often absorbed through your skin into your bloodstream, causing internal health problems—which, besides being (obviously) problematic in and of itself, is never good for your appearance, either. But it also means eating clean, for the same reasons. Good looks are based on good health, or at least the appearance of it, and it’s always better if you don't have to fake it! In the way of products that are the opposite of toxic, I can recommend our Rice & Clean Gentle Facial Cleanser for cleansing and light exfoliation. Three simple ingredients—rice bran, chamomile flower powder, and vitamin E—leave your skin clean, soft, and nourished without anything you wouldn’t be able to eat.” — Holly McWhorter and Bjarke Ballisager, founders of Plant
See what really went down when I swapped out my beauty products for their all-natural alternatives.