We could classify our skin care products into two broad groups: Natural products, which are almost never available at the beauty counters of our fave dept. stores. They adhere to the distressingly invisible lure of ugly packaging that hardly assures customers on quality or, even, effectiveness. The other group constitutes mainstream brands that engage in a constant, stupefying race to develop and incorporate the latest technological advancements in products, which they brand glamourously, and which we, the customers, fall for at the same stupefying breakneck speed!! Of course, we ignore the fact that we don't know, or, can hardly pronounce the ingredients in these products. Very few are ever up to 90% natural, and most are grossly over-priced and over-rated.
Case study - The La Mer secret ingredient:
I'll never forget my first encounter at the La Mer counter in a Boston dept store. It was my first winter (1999) in the States: I was Boston on a trip from my middle-of-nowhere Berkshires boarding school. I wanted to buy mom some of the Crème de La Mer (my immediate younger sister and) I nicked a bit of back home (what a waste??!! And it's not like she ever used it!!) Now, my admirable mother, she would never have bought any creams, crèmes or whatever, herself knowing the price. Daddy did the buying, you see. (Love him!!) Anyway, I thought I'd buy her a new jar. The silly counter lady after explaining the supernatural benefits from its "miracle broth"—those two words are imprinted in my memory—had the nerve to show me the large size (16.5oz) since I'd explained that my mother lived in Nigeria. Then, she told me the price...No, I did not buy it. Trying to scam a mere teen!!
Recalling this episode prompts me to think I may be wrong: That, indeed, Dr. Max Huber of La Mer may have accomplished an all-natural premium-luxury skin care... The website, which other than mentioning sea kelps harvested only twice a year off the Californian coast, speaks nothing more of its ingredients. Ahem. I've looked on my sample jar; nothing!! An excerpt from the website about the divine crème: "Even now, it is not entirely clear how Crème de la Mer works." I believe in miracles, but... So that's a big fat NO on the all-natural aspect, I presume. The ingredients remain 'secret'!! This new revelation of sparse ingredient-info is a bit unnerving, to say the least. Of course, this is not to say that I've disbarred La Mer products either. Certainly not!! What utter stupidity are you thinking??!!
But back to the glam of going au naturel:
The challenge is set for beauty brands to transform the concept of natural products to the mainstream, especially with all the recent "Go Green" hoopla. As we (I wonder if I'm fraudulently including myself here) embrace our moral responsibilities; we, as consumers, want products that are not only wonderful in a holistic sense, but also—good for our environments—in an ethical capacity.
This concept is what the Nude Skin Care line has been able to achieve. I stumbled upon the line at Barney's!! (spells luxury) in November, but I was a crazed shopper and had no time to write about it. Sad. I tried the moisturizer (a delight; not overly 'odor-ific' like other natural products) and the solid lip balm, which heats and melts on contact with the skin, then cools (enough to make one feel like the product is actually performing a little miracle of 'parchment refinishing' on one's lips!!) All good enough to warrant buying a travel-sized collection!! I mean I was going to traveling the next month anyway. *angel face*
Nude is a new brand of biodynamic skin care by Bryan Meehan, the co-founder of the British organics store Fresh + Wild, which he sold to Whole Foods for $38 million; only to embark on a new eco-friendly venture: Nude. The fact that Nude spelled backwards is Edun is not coincidence. In a not-too-ancient interview with the Evening Standard, Meehan explained, "Ali Hewson and I were discussing her ethical clothing range Edun. When I told her I wanted to get into natural skincare, she suggested using the name Nude. She and Bono are now my investors..." Beautifully minimalist, Nude's packaging is a testament to its revolutionary achievements. Its products (99% natural) are sourced from certified organic, fair trade ingredients. Importantly, the ingredients work pre- and pro-biotically with the natural microflora of human skin, stimulating the skin’s own natural defence against environmental irritants, while promoting good skin health and moisture. Rave!!!
To minimize its environmental impact, the bottles is entirely recyclable and upto half of the bottles used are made from post-industrial recycled plastic. Plus, Nude is not sold in boxes, but the products have sleeves that wrap the bottles and hold all product information. These are made of biodegradable starch and are stripped away to leave the bottles clean with only very essential information left on the bottles. Nude is carbon neutral and is taking steps to reduce and offset its emissions with gold standard certified projects. Whoa!!!! It seems I could go on and on...
Visit the webbie of course: www.nudeskincare.com
Nude be you and nude be me.