Long gone thankfully, are the days when natural skincare was considered a second-rate alternative to synthetic, high tech and often very expensive big brands. Natural beauty is on a roll thanks to scientific advances in the formulation of ingredients and the growing number of naturally-focussed independent brands making their mark, and their wonderful products!
Nature and science can work together to create products that reduce the use of potentially irritating chemicals and which focus on botanical extracts and minerals, plus which have real benefits and importantly are a pleasure to use.
Many of us given the choice prefer natural products over synthetic ones: for one thing the natural ingredients are reassuringly familiar to us and the brand philosophy of most natural beauty firms sits well with other choices we’re making such as desire to know exactly where our food and the products we buy come from, how they are made and that they are having as little a negative impact on our environment as possible.
We’ve recently introduced several amazing botanically inspired, naturally focussed beauty brands to our range at Snapdragon all chosen for their natural credentials, wonderful products and their brand philosophies.
So, let’s meet the makers and some of their hero products.
Founder Montague Ashley- Craig was born-and-raised in Glasgow. She studied Chemistry at Edinburgh University and Cosmetic Science at London College of Fashion, and after working for big brands Aesop and Cowshed, in 2015 decided to create her own ‘plants + science’ products from her studio in East London.
Her formulations have won praise from British Vogue, The Telegraph, Oh Comely and Balance magazines to name a few.
Monty’s primary objective is to ensure her products are made from premium quality raw materials focused on botanically based ingredients but not shying away from well-chosen and reliable laboratory made raw materials.
A commitment to sustainable practice is at the heart of everything she does, and products are packaged in recyclable containers. For example, her signature hand care products have been housed in recyclable amber glass since day one.
Midnight Facial Treatment Oil £21 - a potent yet lightweight blend of avocado, prickly pear, watermelon seed, black cumin oils to nourish and restore radiance, ylang ylang and neroli provide light fragrance. A few drops can be applied directly to the skin or alternatively mix a few drops into your preferred moisturiser for a boost of nourishment.
Montamonta x The London Honey Co. All-purpose Balm £10 - an all-in-one moisturizing and soothing balm for use on lips, cuticles, elbows, knees, face, feet… anywhere that needs nourishment. Bee numbers have been in decline in the UK for years yet are vital to our food chain. The London Honey Co. are based in Bermondsey and have kept hives in Central London for over 12 years including hives on the roof of the Tate Modern + Fortnum and Mason.
Evolve Organic Beauty
Evolve products are handmade in small batches at their Hertfordshire studio to ensure the freshness of the precious antioxidants in the natural oils, butters and extracts. Products are vegan, cruelty free and eco-friendly.
Founded in 2009 by Laura Rudoe (founding employee of Nude skincare), her award-winning formulations have won praise from Elle, British Vogue, The Times, The Evening Standard, Grazia, Top Sante, Prima, The Stylist to name but a few.
Evolve have created a range of effective, eco- friendly, natural and organic products which are a joy to use.
Hyaluronic Serum 200 £32 - a pure clear serum for normal to dry skin contains 200mg of organic hyaluronic acid per bottle, proven to hydrate skin from within and plump up fine lines and wrinkles. Organic pomegranate extract softens and protects and is high in ellagic acid which helps to regulate cell turnover and strengthen the cell membrane therefore limiting water loss and free radical damage. It is delicately fragranced with organic rosewater.
Gentle Cleansing Melt £22 -a luxurious cleansing balm containing nourishing organic baobab oil that soothes and hydrates. Natural sugar extracts gently combine with water to turn into a creamy milk that rinses away clean, leaving skin clean, calm and hydrated. Also rich in Vanilla which has strong anti-oxidant properties whilst having a sweet and soothing aroma which is relaxing and calming.
The home of Parterre Fragrances, Keyneston Mill in Dorset is the largest private botanic gardens in the UK dedicated solely to aromatic and scented plants with over 2000 varieties in a 50-acre estate. Here the key botanical ingredients of Parterre perfumes are grown, harvested and distilled. If you’re ever down in Dorset the gardens are free to enter and there is also the wonderfully named ‘The Scented Botantist’ bistro on site.
The skilled team oversee the entire production process from seeds and seedlings, through planting the crops to harvest and distillation. The intensity of fragrance is achieved through care and nurturing of the plants and picking at the optimum moment. Each plant is different, but most, such as geranium, are harvested in the early morning and taken directly to the distillery, resulting in essential oils infused with freshness. Others, like vetiver root, are dried before distillation, a process that takes several days and produces an extract of rare depth and richness.
Once the extracts are ready, they are sent to Master Perfumer, Jacques Chabert at his laboratory in Grasse, where his team use their skill and artistry to craft the beautiful, small batch limited edition fragrances.
Run Of The River £95 - refreshing and vibrant with hints of citrus and aromatic elements of bergamot, mint and lemon thyme layered on clary sage and orange flower.
Root Of All Goodness £95 - warm and enveloping with an aromatic heart of spicy ginger, bergamot, hyssop and vetiver.
For our full range visit our online shop or better still, pop into our store to test all these wonderful products for yourself.