Most beauty and grooming buffs worth their sea salt spray know Sephora like the back of their well moisturized hand. You need to stray out of the mall a little if you want to find something to surprise them or delight them past just giving the old favorites. No need to go to great lengths, we’ve got a load of niche and natural recommendations.
Weleda is a German pharmacy brand that is available in the US. It really doesn’t get enough praise here. I’m obsessed with some of their products and all of them are budget friendly.
OHMERGAWD. This stuff is THE way to help keep your body moisturized in the winter. Unlike those supermarket washes it’s free of SLS. It moisturizes more than the top layer of skin even with only sitting on your skin for mere moments. In the summer I can skip body lotion when using this. In the winter it’s the perfect base layer. Paired with the Salux towel, alligator skin doesn’t have a chance! It’s got an uplifting scent that fills your shower with its creamy orange awesomeness. Over time, it will help heal blemishes and scars. It’s also gentle enough to use on windburn or sunburn après ski.
2. Weleda Sea Buckthorn Oil:
This stuff is perfect for anyone with any sort of bad skin condition, even acne. It works like a charm to moisturize and clear plaques and scars. It will brighten and even your skin tone. It’s best used straight out of the shower or bath so it will spread easily. It’s got the perfect ratio of sesame oil to sea buckthorn oil so it won’t turn your skin yellow but you still get the maximum benefits. Smells like an orange grove in summer!
3. Weleda Skin Food:
Think of this as the petroleum free and all natural version of EA’s Eight Hour Cream. It does all the same stuff only better and for less $$$. It also functions like a barrier cream to lock in other products and protect the skin for bacteria.
This is another fantastic brand that originated in Germany. They make great products that really soothe the skin.
All their bath products are top notch but nothing beats the spruce bath when you are sick in the winter. They only seem to sell this in small sizes and seasonally now, so get it while you can. A cap full of this mixed with Epson salts will have your feeling drastically better in 20 minutes.
You might be thinking this is crazy for me to recommend but it’s honestly a lifesaver in the winter. I like to add a drop or two to my body lotion for my legs in a pre-party situation. It helps even out my pale skin while still leaving it pale. I know that seem silly but my legs just glow and look less like a fish’s belly. It’s also great for adding to sunscreen to help take out the white cast. It stays on, doesn’t stain, has great skin conditioning properties, and looks totally natural even on pasty vampires like myself when used in moderation. It’s also a great product for men or women who want a bit of color but don’t want to use self-tan. Just mix a drop in with your face cream for an undetectable boost.
Love Jo Malone type colognes but can’t afford them? Give Pacifica a try. They make great body butters and candles too!
I hate sweet fig scents but this one is warm, woody, spicy, and fig-a-licious. I like to blend it with Tibetan Mountain Temple for extra spiciness or Vanilla Island for creaminess. Persian Rose, Spanish Amber, Sandalwood, and Mexican Coco all layer well. I love Malibu Lemon Blossom and California Star Jasmine for light and fun summer scents. Mediterranean Fig will also be great for adventurous men!
Olio E Osso
From my adopted home town of Portland! This balm is already gaining cult status among those in the know. This can be used on lips or cheeks for the perfect flush. Layer it for intensity. Crimson is my favorite as it produces the most stunning lip that is vampy but somehow utterly natural.
RMS Be Glowing Gift Set $120
RMS is synonymous with awesomeness and organic cosmetics. Pretty enough for ladies and subtle enough for men!
1. RMS Un-coverup: Anyone can wear this. For you guys out there this is a great tinted balm for under the eye. Just apply a thin layer for moisture and obscuring late nights and hangovers.
2. RMS Living Luminizer: Anyone can wear this. It’s going to make you look awake and rested when applied strategically. You can layer it to up the glow factor akin to Becca SSP.
3. RMS Beauty Glowing Gift Set: This is the set to get anyone who is serious about organic beauty! A perfect starter kit.
Olivine Perfume Sample Set $16
Olivine is a local Seattle small business that specializes in natural beauty for hair, skin, and perfume. They make great multi-purpose products too!
1. Olivine Perfume Sample Set: Three exquisite perfumes that will smell nice on just about anyone though they all lean feminine. This makes a great stocking stuffer for your beauty guru.
2. Olivine Lotion: This is the perfect lotion for day wear especially if you don’t like wearing perfume. It’s lightly scented and smells like being on a beach vacation in southern Italy. It’s so good you might want to keep it for yourself.
3. Olivine Perfume: These are the same outstanding scents as in the sample pack. It’s hard to choose but you can’t go wrong. The packaging is also exceptionally elegant for the price!
4. Olivine Love and Salt Mist: Soothing scented beach waves are now at your disposal. It’s also a bit moisturizing and can be used on wet hair for subtle texture or dry for full on beach hair. It’s also an after sun soother. It also comes in a mini for travel which you can see here.
5. Olivine Love and Roses: A light leave in conditioner that provides light texture to clean hair, a style refresher, and a skin tonic that moisturizes and soothes. Also comes in a mini which you can see here!
Verso Travel Set $55
I have it on good authority that this brand of skin care is a no nonsense go getter and one of the best lines you can use. It’s gentle and tough on lines, pores, and saggy lax skin. It’s also brightening. The packaging is perfect for both sexes and the scents aren’t overly girly. Both sets are full of their core products.
1. Verso Travel Set: You get a cleanser, day cream, and night cream. What more do you need?
2. Verso Time Reverse Series: Triple the amount of the travel set and it’s handsomely packaged for gifting.
Lollia Bath Trio Sets $24
Lollia is a creation of Margot Elena who is also responsible for Tokyo Milk. I absolutely adore their hand creams and the scent Wish. My sister found the hand cream to be the only scented hand cream that didn’t irritate her chapped hands in the winter. She is extremely sensitive to fragrance on the skin. If you are looking for something a little different and budget friendly this is the gift idea for you.
1. Lollia Bath Trio: This is a great set with hand cream, body wash, and a bar soap.
2. Lollia Hand Cream: This is the real deal right here. This product is packed with shea, avocado oil, and macadamia oil. It not only leaves your hands feeling like satin but that feeling lasts for hours. Over time the magical oils help repair chapped skin and restore a youthful glow. It’s also available in a handy travel size you can see here.
The Adventurous Couple Gifts
Have a couple on your list that is both equally into fragrance? Try these sets that foster mixing and matching!
This is a full on unisex scent library from the rebel rousing Etat Libre d’Orange. Unconventional perfume making at its best. I smelled some of their creations in Paris and was blown away!
Another local Seattle find that’s starting to get some major traction. Voted Artisan Perfumer of 2013 and Top Indie Perfumer in 2013. If you or anyone on your list likes leather, incense, and oud this is your new favorite perfume company. One of the few small perfume houses to use real ambergris and copal.
I hope you found something in the niche and natural beauty selection that might bring an extra helping of Christmas joy to any product junkie!