Luxe Botanics

A botanic skincare line scientifically formulated to allow nature to nurture your skin.


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The Mindful Beauty Series: Meet Rebecca Casciano

The Secret Diary of a Mindful Beauty

Next up we have our sassy redhead from Brooklyn, NYC. A clean beauty makeup artist come Sacred Beauty Extraordinaire. The turning point? Going back to school, becoming a wellness coach and transitioning her makeup kit and mission to healthy beauty. The outcome? Who ever knows. We’re always evolving, right? But this chick gets a kick from helping others, making an impact and the occasional throwback to 80’s rap (who doesn’t?).

Tribe. Meet Rebecca …

 

What one word best describes you? Love.

What’s your superpower? Makeup artistry and visuals.

And your weakness? (because we’re all human) Ugh, math!

A moment that’s defined you most in life? It’s hard to say which one has defined me the most, but I have to say that deciding to become a health coach changed the direction of my life and work in some monumental ways. It opened my heart and mind to my deeper purpose and gave me the courage to share my journey and what I believe about beauty and wellness with others. I knew the minute I made the decision to attend Integrative Nutrition that this path would change my life.

Your mantra is ‘when you feel good, you look even better’. What is your go to feel good ritual?  Meditation, practicing gratitude, spending time in nature and with people I love.

Your greatest passion? Learning about all things healthy beauty, spirituality and wellness and using my knowledge to help others.

Who do you admire most and why? Maya Angelou (American poet, singer, memoirist, and civil rights activist), because she was so very brave, smart, passionate about helping others and expressing her creativity and truth.

Tell us something about yourself not many people know (shhhh, we can keep a secret!) From the late 80’s – mid 90’s, I was really into R&B and hip-hop… and can still recite all the lyrics from my favorite songs.

What keeps you awake at night? Thankfully not much, I’m usually asleep within 5 minutes of hitting the pillow!

The Sacred Beauty Collective you’ve started is all about sisterhood, women banding together and helping each other rise. Which sister has helped you rise most? My oldest and closest friend, Lorraine. We’ve been friends for over 20 years and even lived together for 8 years, which is pretty rare. She’s inspired and taught me so much over the years, plus I can always count on her for support, love and honesty through all of my ups and downs.

The Sacred Beauty Collective explores six different elements of inner and outer beauty. What does beauty mean to you? Beauty is a reflection of the divine and it’s present in every living being and thing.

For the pure joy of discovery, you went back to school studying at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. What was the greatest lesson you learnt?One of IIN’s core concepts is bio individuality, which essentially means every body has their own unique and different needs, and no one dietary theory works for all people. I knew this in theory, but at the time I was very passionate/outspoken about everyone becoming a vegetarian— for health, environmental and ethical reasons. While I still believe in the virtues of a plant-based diet, I learned how to approach the conversation with a much more open mind and allow space for understanding personal needs and choices.

Makeup artist, natural beauty activist and wellness coach. What’s been your biggest transformation? My biggest transformation was going from being a makeup artist, to a wellness coach and natural beauty activist. It changed the focus of my work to one that was more aligned with who I was as a person and what kind of impact I wanted to have on the world. This required me to not only see and market myself in new ways, but to transition my entire makeup kit to clean beauty products. The initial transformation was profound and it’s an ongoing journey of evolution.

We like to think of ourselves as explorers and love to discover the unknown. What’s been the biggest adventure you’ve been on or are yet do? The first exploration that comes to mind that I would like to do is an inner one– the Vipassana 10-Day Meditation Course. It sounds really hard and scary, but also enlightening and necessary. I would also love to spend more time in jungles and traveling the world.

If you were a Luxe Botanics botanical, which one would you be? I would have to go with Camu Camu Berry. After all, it makes skin luminous and its color is such a gorgeous red!

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The Mindful Beauty Series: Meet Sammie Colletta Kolk

The Secret Diary of a Mindful Beauty

Can you believe it? It’s been a year since we officially stepped into the clean beauty spotlight. Where has the time gone? Hands down, and hey, why not hands up too, it’s been a joy sharing with you our love of all things skincare, wellness and the science behind this. Thanks for sticking around when we got nerdy!

On our ventures, we’ve met some pretty incredible individuals who are climbing new horizons making a better world. How awesome is that? Women and men following their own path, connecting new dots and leaving little nuggets of wisdom along the way.

So we couldn’t keep it a secret any longer. We just had to share with you (because sharing is caring) our chronicles of these adventurers. Each is an insight into little catalysts for change or simply the contentment of knowing who you are and expressing gratitude for the small things in life.

So without further ado, meet our first Mindful Beauty, Sammie Colletta Kolk, aka clean beauty blogger hullosam. She’s a self confessed obessessive when it comes to skincare (um, we can relate) and will be no stranger to all you lovers of all things green out there. A few of her favourite things include: her family, the beach, a good lipstick, spin class and all things musical – a girl after our own heart.

Here’s what Sammie had to say…

 

What one word best describes you? 

Passionate

What’s your superpower? And your weakness? (because we’re all human) 

Superpower: Organizing and communicating. Weakness: Stressing over the little things.

A moment that’s defined you most in life? 

Realizing what my passions are and just going for them, even when it was nerve-wracking and scary! I love what I do!

Your go to feel good ritual? 

Crafting up a warm matcha latte or other warm tonics. I love getting all of the ingredients/adaptogens and nut-milk warmed up and ready. It’s relaxing and rewarding – and yummy!

Your greatest passion? 

Makeup application, sharing tips and tricks and having fun with makeup looks!

Who do you admire most and why? 

My sweet mother. She is just an incredible human being. So much to learn from her. Love you mum!

Tell us something about yourself not many people know (shhhh, we can keep a secret!) 

I loathe traffic and especially during rain/rush hour. I can be quite aggressive on the road lol.

What keeps you awake at night? 

Listing the things I need to do that I forgot to do…sometimes getting up and writing them down helps. But sometimes I’m so tired and don’t want to, yet still think of them haha!

You’ve been dubbed the friendliest influencer on Instagram. What puts a smile on your face? 

I love reading encouraging DM’s and random e-mails from followers who have tried a product I’ve recommended and love it, or just simply want to say something kind. It truly makes my day. Also, most IG stories from any one of my family members make me smile.

You’re known for keeping things real. What keeps you most grounded? 

Just knowing what’d I’d want from someone else who I look up to – realness, authenticity, integrity and an honest passion for what they do. Being with family keeps me grounded, and honestly, just being with people at events and connecting with them is grounding and so refreshing!

While blessed with many charming features. Your hair! Talk us through the pink, um and any toxin free tips for maintaining? 

Oh man, this was one process that wasn’t super clean haha. I find that I need some sort of (extra) outlet for my craziness and creativity and I also believe in balance. My hair was one of those things that (as long as no bleach or crazy insane chemicals touched my scalp) I chose to have fun with! I use goodDYEyoung semi-permanent hair dye and it’s amazing. It is vegan/cruelty-free, has some nourishing oils in it and isn’t scented with crazy fragrance – just some beautiful bergamot oil! It isn’t “green” by any standards but it’s a bit cleaner than some!

Nanny, musician, make up artist and green beauty blogger. What’s been your biggest transformation? 

I’d say becoming a wife, actually. Not expected, right? 😉 Well, I had to learn how to really share my space, my life, everything. I’ve learned more about myself as a wife to my husband than many other (intense or transformational) things I’ve experienced down the road. I’m still transforming and learning. It’s a really good thing though.

We like to think of ourselves as explorers and love to discover the unknown. What’s been the biggest adventure you’ve been on or are yet do? 

I think going to Banff was one of the biggest adventures as far as outdoorsy-ness goes for me lol! I’m not an outdoors person unless I’m at the beach or walking around a beautiful big city like NYC or Paris somewhere to shop. But, I was really surprised at how much I adored Banff and it’s crisp fresh mountain air! We hiked a bit and just explored and it was amazing!

If you were a Luxe Botanics botanical, which one would you be? 

Probably Camu Camu Berry Extract because I love berries…haha but in all honesty, I think the fact that it’s been a nutritious food source for Amazonian Indians, it’s high in antioxidants and more – it appeals to me!

 

Thank you Sammie. You’re a truly Mindful Beauty!

Want to hear more? Find out what Sammie thought about our Kigelia line here.

 

Naturally yours,

The Luxe Botanics Team


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Living a Life of Lagom

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There’s something about Scandinavian concepts of living. Clean lines with a minimalist approach. We’ve been buying into their beautifully simplistic interiors for decades, and with good reason why.

While Hygge, the Danish idea of cozy living, has been huge in the last year, now “lagom” has quietly elbowed its way into the spotlight as an ideology for life. Never heard of lagom? Well we’re here to enlighten you…

A Swedish word that means “just the right amount” or “not too much, not too little,” lagom is the latest lifestyle trend people have fallen in love with. And we have too! With its emphasis on moderation, it can be thought of as a more mindful way of living, for everything to be a balance and “just right.” It emphasizes frugality and sustainability, inviting people to live their lives with more consciousness of the world around them.

Lagom is a moment for pause, to look at all the items we use and why, asking us to really consider the importance, or lack thereof. By becoming more centred around what we genuinely value in life, this can bring about a sense of greater purpose and even help to de-stress. It can be massively beneficial to let a little bit more lagom seep into our busy, often overwhelming lives, and here are a few ways you can start living a life of lagom through your beauty routine:

 

Bare Necessities

If you stop to think about it, you really don’t need five different types of moisturizers and three different types of eye cream. Sometimes we find ourselves purchasing more and more without once stopping to ask why. We’re so used to consumption that it becomes second nature, and we find ourselves in a race to constantly buy new things. Retail therapy, after all, didn’t become a phrase without reason, but it’s an instant gratification that seldom lasts and has an insatiable appetite.

Get into a lagom state of mind by getting rid of beauty items that have long expired. Mascara older than three months can go, as can skincare products you’ve had for a year or more and never use. Starting with expired items is a good way to begin the de-cluttering process without feeling like you’re throwing your hard-earned money away – those moisturizers and serums didn’t come cheap, we know. But once these are gone, you may want to consider what you use on a daily basis, and what is simply taking up space on your shelves. Only you know what really works and what products deliver the best results. Stick to those and thoughtfully curate your beauty ritual to be the best it can be.

 

Back To Basics

Lagom preaches the belief of “just right,” which means goodbye to excess. This can relate to the ingredients in beauty products, putting emphasis on those that are simple yet powerful. The current trend of plant-based face oils fits right in with lagom, as does the rise in popularity of natural and organic beauty. Clean, nature-based ingredients like argan oil and shea butter provide effective results without any of the harshness of added preservatives and synthetic ingredients.

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The rule tends to go, the fewer number of ingredients in a product, the better. But that doesn’t mean these ingredients are any less potent. It’s all about finding the right combination and balance, ensuring each ingredient actually serves a beneficial purpose. Careful consideration of each ingredient and what it brings to the table is a core principle of lagom.

 

Sustainability

Our resources cannot last forever. This is one of the reasons why lagom emphasizes eco-friendliness. Practice lagom by using products with recyclable packaging as well as re-using the many jars and bottles that house your favourite beauty products. By scaling down your beauty regimen, you can also make sure you’re doing your part by using a product until the very last drop. This way you’ll ensure that you’re not being wasteful—and it’s easier to do if the product you’re using is wholly effective and one that you love. In the end, it all comes full circle.

 

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Sustainability can refer to ingredients as well. Ingredients that are sourced through wild harvesting or organic means ensure there is harmony between a finished product and its origins. Cultivating ingredients through fair-trade practices also respects the farmers who look after the land and who should stand to gain from their hard work just as you stand to gain from using a beautifully crafted product. It can be a win-win for all. Hurrah!

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Beauty that is rooted in sustainability also ensures that the planet will not be unduly harmed by harsh methods of cultivation that are ultimately unsustainable and cause pollution. By supporting eco-conscious brands that respect the planet and prize business methods that leave a small footprint, you can adopt many of the core ideals lagom.

 

Practice Makes Perfect

You don’t have to dive headfirst into lagom. Like any lifestyle change, it requires patience and understanding on your part. It will also take some time. It can be difficult to let go of old and comfortable habits, like hoarding every old beauty product and voraciously purchasing new ones, especially if you’re a self-professed beauty obsessive and love new things. Don’t we all? But if you’re serious about curbing old habits and embarking on a change that will ultimately benefit you and the planet, lagom can come easily to you. Start out small, taking tentative baby steps, and before you know it, you’ll be leading a lagom life.

 

Naturally yours,

The Luxe Botanics Team