oil cleansing + cleanser cleansing
Think it sounds redundant to cleanse and then cleanse again? or a waste of time?
I think not. In fact, I think it's one of the reasons that 10 minutes into a facial the tone and texture of your skin is already improved.
The logic here is that oil lifts oil. So instead of using detergents with nasty surfactants, we can protect the integrity of the acid mantle by gently lifting debris and remove make up with plant-based oils.
Any light cold pressed plant oil will do (jojoba is a wax and best used as a moisturizer).
If you're making your own pre-cleansing oil at home, you can repurpose a bottle with a treatment pump and chose a light oil: Oils are rated by likelyhood of clogging pores 0 -5 (unlikely - very likely). Sweet Almond, Apricot Kernal, and Olive are 2 on the scale, while coconut oil is a 3. You can add a couple drops of your favorite essential oil if you like.
We like Rice Bran Oil which is a 1 (with a touch of Rosehip Oil -also a 1).
The Alchemy Double Cleansing Oils are mostly Rice Bran Oil with some Rosehip Oil. We have a lovely blend of essential oils designed to gently cleanse and support the skin: frankincense, rosemary, marjoram, clary sage and rose geranium, plus a few more.
We like our fragrances SLOW at Alchemy / Synthetic Free Perfume
On a daily basis our sense of smell is assaulted. In many ways we have been trained away from the appreciation of the subtler nuances of natural fragrance in favor of the fakey man-made options.
There is a movement afoot to reintroduce people to the world of natural fragrance with perfumes created only with natural elements (like flowers and roasted sea shells). Related to the craft cocktail and foodie movements, niche perfumery reintroduces classic methods paired with modern technology.
This feels revolutionary given the attachment to cheap and quick when it comes to clothes, food and homegoods. But for those of us who appreciate SLOW and quality over consumption - botanical fragrances aren't a stretch.
Plus, when your cosmetics and fragrances are free of synthetics and hormone modulators found in commercial products, it's healthier for you and for the environment.
And a quick note on the nasty stuff found in commercial fragrances.
Here's a quick read from Mind Body Green on the NEW wave in fragrances.
Florida Water - a Classic American Cologne
for a vessel worthy of exquisite care
Kintsugi is the art of repairing ceramics.
Broken pottery is rejoined using a lacquer of gold (and other precious metals). The history of the vessel is seen as valuable and worth the effort it takes to mend. And not only to mend, but to do it artfully and with precious materials.
The resulting golden join enhances the beauty of the vessel.
So poetic: Which is why we chose to name our repair serum for Kintsugi: As a reminder that we are worthy of exquisite care.
Alchemy's Kintsugi Repair Serum is made with precious plants: saffron, rose otto, rose absolute and neroli essential oil in a base of jojoba and the superfood, sea buckthorn oil
Luminous skin with heritage inspired products
Alchemy is a nostalgic brand. Seeking a return to fresh, quality ingredients with no fillers. Before we were the Slow Living Studios, we were Alchemy Apothecary-style Skincare. This new line of skincare products is true to our roots.
I began mixing skincare potions for my own use in the early nineties. Simple, elegant, unfussy preparations with high quality ingredients. The first favorite was simply aloe vera juice, sweet almond oil and neroli. Then I dabbled in soap making, various balms and emulsions.
In 2010 I got my aesthetics license and have been refining the formulas while using them in the studio on clients in facials. Effectiveness, and aroma are key attributes. Often drawing on the wisdom of Eastern AND Western traditions: 'old wives' and Ayurveda.
The Skincare Science + Magic line can replace or boost your skin care rituals and support healthy skin between facials. They smell amazing, are free of synthetics and all the nasty phalates, are sans preservatives. Most are vegan.
give your skin a rich diet of plant-based products
We know that the body uses food-based nutrition more efficiently than it can use synthesized or hyper-processed ingredients.
We know that colorful veggies are packed with vitamins in a way their duller cousins are not.
We know that what we put ON the body is absorbed by the body.
This Alchemy golden beauty balm is packed full of nutrients especially for treating the delicate areas around the eyes. Rose, Saffron, Neroli and the super-rich Sea Buckthorn Oil.
Ingredients: saffron infused jojoba oil, cocoa butter, beeswax, Sea Buckthorn Oil, Neroli essential oil, Rose absolute, Saffron Absolute.
-why beeswax? Because the key to healthy skin is to heal and protect the acid mantle (more) and beeswax, even a tiny amount, can offer protection against moisture loss.
Neroli, Rose and Saffron are some of the most exquisite oils distilled from flowers. Prized for their aroma and for the benefits to the psyche and the skin.
The leaves AND the berries of Sea Buckthorn are bioactive, the fruit of this shrub that has been used in Chinese medicine for centuries. The pressed oil of the berry contains vitamins, flavonoids, carotenoids and beneficial fatty acids (used sparingly as it can temporarily pigment the skin).
2 c. whole milk or almond milk
1/2 vanilla bean
10-12 saffron threads
Slice the vanilla in half long-ways add to the milk in a sauce pan. Warm gently (barely a simmer).
When the milk is warm, stir in the saffron threads - turn off heat and allow to steep, cooling slightly.
remove from heat and strain - sweeten with honey or maple syrup - enjoy.
(I like to use my Bodum milk frother to warm the milk and vanilla bean in the microwave, add saffron, froth, pour, enjoy)
Where to buy saffron:
Rumi Spice Company, Chigago
I have only recently learned of Rumi Spice company, and in future our saffron will come from here. They work with farmers in Afghanistan to turn opium poppy fields to one as lucrative, and more peaceful: crocus sativus.
It will be no surprise to learn that I LOVE stories and I especially love stories about tradition and what connects people to their roots. So when I had an opportunity to learn more about the roots of henna traditions, I jumped at the chance!
Our local henna community hosted an expert on older motifs and styles of henna and the push to maintain authenticity in the face of a shrinking globe and an increase in interest in the folk art.
People have some pretty romantic ideas about the uses of henna around the world: there is no evidence to suggest that henna has been used for 5,000 years to adorn the body. There IS evidence that it was applied to Egyptian mummies. We also know that henna has been used for 400 years in Jewish culture. Sorting truth from apocrypha can be a challenge.
A really good resource for historical perspective is Noam Sienna's blog Eshkol HaKofer.
In our survey we touched on the much more tribal roots of roots in Rajasthan, Mauritania, Senegal, Niger, and Sudanese. And even cooler we took a look at how motifs are defined by the techniques used to get the henna on the body: extruded, slathered, tape resist, syringe. The LOOK of the end result is unique to the way the henna is applied.
The design on my hand is designed to emulate West African henna done with tape resist, but I used the tool I'm most comfortable with: the henna cone.
New look! Same roots-based natural skincare to support your skin
The products I have designed for use at home and during facials are meant to compliment your existing care rituals. Each formula in the collection can be used to enhance what you already use.
Everything is plant based, with few exceptions to salt, clay, honey... everything else is ground, pressed or distilled from the plant essence. Free from synthetics, weird chemically stabilizers or preservatives, our batches are small (under 30 units per batch) and mixed fresh in-house to maintain effectiveness.
More questions? please reach out to email@example.com
Ready to shop?
Plant-based perfumery, craft cocktails and rituals
MEIUKE is a garden of the imagination and dreams... a botanical perfume by Alchemy
The entire event was designed to be a treat for the senses and an invitation to interact with scent in a new way.
Sandalwood incense was wafted at the entrance to the event space and guests were invited to be anointed with Henna Attar. A welcome cocktail and mingling followed. Interactive displays encouraged conversation and an opportunity to connect with familiar (and unfamiliar) scents.
Alchemy uses knowledge of plant science and intuition to create nuanced fragrances.
At Alchemy we use only botanical essences harvested from the wood, seed, flower, root, stem and fruit. Selecting rare extracts, attars, distillates, and absolutes to design fragrances that elicit memories real and imagined.
Our perfumes are always free from synthetics and hand poured in small batches to maintain exceptional quality.
None of us ever succeeds alone... it is my great pleasure to be surrounded by some superbly talented people. The event was beautifully done and tailored to the Alchemy aesthetic by Haley Lertola, the founder of Detroit Cultivated, and her team.
Music: Sean Blackman
Food: Guerrilla Food / Pink Flamingo
Cocktails: Sfumato Fragrances
Dessert: Bon Bon Bon
Photography: Emily Berger
Special Gifts: Ojas Akolkar, Tribal Fare / Angela Ficorelli, Moving Beauty Studio
The evening was drizzly and wonderfully Michigan, and we were able to take full advantage of the wide open community space, twinkle lights and fire bowl at the Quonset Huts, True North, Detroit.
Celebrations continue with an open house in the Alchemy studios Thursday, October 26 - 6 pm to 9:00 pm with cake, music and drinks. Drop in anytime!
Our friends at j'adore Detroit wrote a fantastic review of the event and the fragrance... read more
photo credit: j'adore Detroit
a workshop with Bon Bon bon
gallery of photos by Chris Gerrard
One of my all-time favorite travel memories is a cooking class. I was travelling with three other women (my mom, my cousin and her mom) and we took a cooking class at a small women-owned shop in Galena, IL. When you sign up for this class, you meet other travelers too. We all prepared a beautiful meal together and then shared it... wine, soup, salad, main course and dessert.
I loved the comfort of being with friends, but also meeting new people around a common interest. It's one of the things I love best about events like this chocolate and henna event, too.
Strangers gathered at the home of Bon Bon Bon in Hamtramck to refine henna skills with a little chocolate play.
And while I got to lay down a little henna magic, and pass along some hints; I also learned there are some surprising similarities for piping ganache and piping henna paste.We both manage texture and flow with sugars.
What a lovely evening!
Thank you for hosting Bon Bon Bon and to everyone who came.
Henna or Chocolate?