If you read the blog regularly, you'll know that I'm a huge advocate of natural products that actually get the job done. I also take interest and love to support when local creatives start making products that I think other people should know about. If I would talk to my girlfriends about it, I'll share it here. That's why when I came across Harlow's body butters in a shop by my place, I knew right away that I wanted to reach out to them.
Harlow Skin Co. is a relatively new skincare line dreamed up by a veteran Vancouver makeup artist Chrystal Macleod. With over ten years experience working with women in the beauty industry, this girl obviously knows what she's doing. I love her health-centric, eco-aware, quality-ingredient-based approach to skincare. Her Vancouver-made products are rich and luxurious and have been my absolute go-to during these dry winter months . They're pretty much the only thing that can solve my dry heels and hands these days. And I can't miss mentioning the scents. The natural olfactory-punch these organic products pack is pretty unrivaled in my opinion - French Toast, Bohemian, Spa Day, Daydream etc. - they all rule.
My favourite product by far has been the heady-scented vanilla and grapefruit/citrus Bohemian Body Butter. With ingredients like shea butter, avocado oil and coconut oil it is super rich + thick and melts to a spreadable consistency in the palm of your hands. I have been applying it as soon as I hop out of the shower to lock moisture in. Basically, it makes you smell like a fresh batch of grapefruit + vanilla sugar cookies.
I'll restrain myself from listing every other scent here - you can check them all out on the Harlow site. But, the 'French Toast Whip', 'Spice Market Butter' and 'Daydream Whip' top my favourites list, along with Harlow's face elixir - a purely hydrating oil blend that I've been wearing under my moisturizer when I'm need of an extra moisture boost. It leaves your skin feeling dewy and refreshed without making you break out.
So enough from me. We got Chrystal (Harlow mastermind) to share with us some of her skincare insight and some tips & tricks to fight that cold-weather dryness. Here's what she had to say:
PW: The products your make are pretty much magic. What lead you to become a
lotion and potion maker?
H: I love the term magic to describe Harlow!! I’ve been a makeup artist for over a decade and I’ve always been fascinated with ingredients and how they relate to the skin. I couldn’t really find a natural product that I liked aesthetically or one that didn’t contain water so I went to town creating something for myself. It was good but I wanted it to be great, I tested various types on friends and family before arriving at recipes I was happy with. Somewhere along the way I guess I also made a conscious decision that others needed to be a part of happy, healthy skin as well; after all our skin is our biggest organ absorbing 60 to 80% of what we put on it so it’s important that we know what we’re actually putting on it. Harlow’s lotions and potions are made with simple ingredients that boast big abilities, wholesome luxury, free of additives, preservatives and fillers. I’m passionate about health and I love the ceremony involved with taking care of my skin so it all just made sense!
PW: What are your tips for avoiding the dry, chapped skin that is so common at this time of year? Any secret tips and tricks to keeping smooth?
H: Exfoliate, drink lots of water and use Harlow whips, butters, elixirs and salve!! Lol! But for real! Pure, wholesome product is going to give a much better result especially when it comes to dryness. If your product contains a filler such as water then it may be countering your efforts towards achieving silky smooth skin. It will treat the dryness immediately and aid in your products absorption rate but water in a product inevitably dries it out.
PW: Your fragrances are super interesting and well balanced. What are some of the inspirations for your scents?
H: My inspiration comes primarily from working face to face with so many women over the years. We’re all so very different and complex that it was important for me to convey that with as many diverse scents as I could for Harlow’s core collection. I also really love to cook, free-styling in the kitchen mostly; I love the freedom. It feels much like that when I’m creating new scents. Everyday life of course is pretty inspirational; everything inspires everything else in the end.
PW: What are your must-haves / what would we find in your bathroom cabinet?
H: My must haves are pretty simple. I will not go a day without my Harlow face elixir, it has done wonders for me and I am so happy knowing that it will never be discontinued. I have dry skin and I love lotioning, so of course you would find a plethora of Harlow whips and butters scattered about! I use a natural deodorant and toothpaste from whole foods and an eye gel by la roche posay.
PW: We know you have been a makeup artist for years, any secret, must-know tricks for facial skincare?
H: Moisturize and drink lots of water! The biggest thing I see is problem skin due to lack of hydration. Our skin tends to over produce oil if it feels it’s not getting enough hydration externally, so stripping your skin by washing with a harsh soap and not moisturizing won’t help. We produce oil naturally, as we age and our skin changes and we lose the ability to keep it consistently balanced so it only makes sense that we use oil to create this balance. It’s important however to use the right oils as some will clog our pores and create buildup leading to breakouts. Moderation is key, avoid excesses: alcohol, unhealthy foods, processed sugar, etc. It all directly affects our skin but we know this. Less is always more when it comes to makeup, I tell my clients to enhance features not to cover them up. I sound like my mom, but it’s true!
PW: Anything new and exciting on the horizons for Harlow? Anything you want us to share with our readers?
H: Yes actually, there will be a couple of new kids on the block come spring. Our sun elixir is your vitamin C, anti-oxidant serum extraordinaire targeting fines lines and old sun damage hiding beneath the surface. Our Harlow Soak, slated for release February 1st (just in time for Valentines Day) is a blend of dried chamomile and sweet orange peel wrapped within coarse sea and pink Himalayan salts for a most magical bath experience. New spring seasonal body whips are on the horizon as well!
We've teamed up with Harlow Skin Co. to Giveaway a package that includes all these goodies to save your skin this season
- 1 Body Whip
- 1 Coffee Scrub Bar
- 1 Face Elixir
- 1 Small Candle
To enter, simply visit HarlowSkinCo.com and check out the goods
Then, leave a comment below this post with: Your Name + Email, and which product you are most excited about.
* Contest closes January 16th, 2015. The winner will be drawn randomly and contacted by email to claim their prize. Good luck!