If you haven't made Monica Skye Miller's acquaintance, you are missing out! She's one of the most big-hearted, kind people I have ever met. Famous in the fragrance community for her generosity and for her endless supportive bolstering of indie perfumers, Monica is also a Master Herbalist and perfumer herself. And she's a bee keeper's wife. And she's a loyal and sweet friend.
Monica was generous enough to send me samples of her honey (delish!), and her skincare products, and her thyroid supplement. I'll get to the honey and thyroid supplements in another post. Today, I am focusing on the skincare. Take a look at the picture above: there's plenty to talk about. :)
Monica's company, Skye Botanicals, is chock-full of what she calls "the cosmetics equivalent of slow-food". Flowers come from Martha's Vineyard farms (Monica lives on the island), biodynamic herbs come from Costa Rica, wildcrafted botanicals come from Africa, and various herbal extracts, flower essences, hydrosols, and saponified butters come from all over the world, handmade where they grow. What does it all mean? It's all directly from the source, made from hand from start to finish (except the part that nature took care of!).
As a third generation herbalist, Monica knows just what to put into her ingredients for just the right results. I have to say: I am impressed.
Let's take the products I tried, one at a time...
- Mandarin Face Polish
- Chamomile Cleansing Lotion
I'm not terribly big on creamy cleansers. I prefer, thanks to my combination skin, a more squeaky-clean gel-cleanser type of product. However, this lotion is really, really good. It's creamy, it's silky, and it leaves my skin feeling lovely - not tight. Even on my oily bits. Though if we're being totally honest, I prefer...
- African Soap Face & Body Wash
Ah, this is so "me". I've been reading about African Black Soap for a long time. It's widely believed to be healing and good for irritated skin. Monica's product - a liquid cleanser, not a solid soap- has a delicious orange scent laid over an earthy scent that reminds me of clay masks. It feels gentle, looks like oddly-thick coffee, and leaves skin super clean but not dry. And no breakouts!
- Yarrow Toner
After cleaning, toner is always nice to... um, I've never really been sure why we want to use toner. But Monica's is soothing and refreshing. It tightens the skin and soothes and heals the skin. It has benefits I've never noticed in other toners, which basically just seem like spritzing or splashing expensive water onto my face. It has a mildly astringent scent to it that seems slightly reminsicent of vinegar, if I'm being honest. It's short-lived, though.
- Chamomile Facial Creme
more chamomile [via] vanilla beans [via]
And last but not least, moisture for all over: Vanilla Lotion is perfect from fingertips to toes. Again, lightweight and perfect. It has a slight herbal-tinged vanilla scent to it - almost the opposite of the Chamomile Facial Creme, which has a vanilla-tinged herbal scent. Delicious. Hydrating. Not sticky or greasy, but softening and smoothing.
As a makeup artist, I almost always have tons of skincare sitting around the house. The fact that I've ignored most of them for Skye Botanicals choices is pretty damn telling. As a person who is trying to strip chemicals and unpronounceable ingredients from my diet and my world, I am sold on these products. I feel good on the outside and the inside! I look forward to purchasing full-sized products as soon as I can. It feels good to be supporting small businesses, and by buying from a company like Skye Botanicals you are helping them from all over the world! Besides, natural, simple products really are best...
Now, get ye to Skye Botanicals and try them yourselves!