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Ever since Bee was born, I began to stretch great lengths to clear our home of toxins to the best of our ability. Organic fruits and veggies always, BPA-free everything, you know the drill. And then I started clearing myself of those same toxins (exhibit A) and I’m slowly but surely transitioning into this crazy person that has actual conversations about PVC.

I have no idea either.

the alchemist dressing table lauren davies design for mankind

But organic beauty and skincare have always been a source of tension for me. I’m a run-to-the-drugstore-at-the-last-minute kind of gal, and really, could I swallow budgeting hundreds of dollars on cake for my face? I couldn’t (except for this brand, which is truly all sorts of amazing). And then London-based designer Lauren Davies smacked me with The Alchemist Dressing Table: a beautiful interpretation of DIY organic, all-natural beauty.

I love when design opens our eyes to the truth – that the products we slather ourselves with were either created in nature, or in a laboratory, or in a gigantic factory, or in a pharmaceutical corporation’s conference room. Or hopefully, by hand, with love and great care.

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She was inspired by ancient rituals, by the idea that make-up and skincare shouldn’t perhaps be a rushed process of “putting on our face” before heading out the door, but instead – an exercise in self-care. A moment in our day to slow and savor and honor the gift that is good health and full life.

Lauren calls her designs a “collection of analog tools” for the production of natural cosmetics at home. “I believe this could be the future of cosmetics for the modern woman who has a desire to be more in control of what she uses on her skin and the impact they have on the environment,” she writes. “The tools I’ve designed will enable women to forge a stronger connection to their personal beauty rituals and a more magical relationship with nature’s intricate mysteries.”

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And while an alchemist dressing table in the home of today’s modern women might be a tall order, the idea that we can seek enjoyment – even inspiration – in our everyday beauty routines is not. Here’s to that second coat of polish. The extra dab of blush. Here’s to letting our signature scent linger a bit longer today. To breathing deeply and celebrating the face, body and skin we’re in, whether it’s wrinkled or freckled, stretched or worn.

Here’s to you, alchemists.

Image Credits: Jess Bonham

p.s. A cosmetics brand that’s redefining beauty.

  • Yes.
    Lately, on the train, (I have a long commute to my studio) I’ve found myself looking at women, wondering why they are wearing so much makeup. I wonder why they are masking themselves, when they could be shining out.

    This idea of a ritual is wonderful – instead of covering…reveal. Instead of fixing…healing. Affirming.

    We shouldn’t be at war with our bodies. One wouldn’t want to live in a country in a lifelong war… why live inside your own self that way?

    Erin, I love these posts. I love your thinking. Thank you so much. : )

    • Oh love – you always have the BEST insights that make me think long after I’ve read them. Thank YOU!

  • i know we’re told not to spend so much time in front of the mirror these days – that it’s vain and selfish. But i have to say, as a mother of two I rarely get a chance to take a second for myself. Those 10 minutes in the bathroom (yes looking in the mirror) in the morning are the moments when i take a deep breath and nurture myself, even if it’s just putting on moisturizer! I inhale lavender oil as i put on mascara and walk out of the bathroom ready to tackle my day.

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