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Studio Visit: Duffy's and Herbivore Botanicals

This week, we're looking to Seattle to two favorite beauty brands doing things differently in the Pacific Northwest. First, a trip to the sunny studios of Herbivore Botanicals, where owners Julia Willis and Alex Kummerow share how running a do-it-yourself "science lab" is pretty much the best job ever. Next up is a visit to the Elysian Brewery, where we talk with Duffy's Brew owners Nicolette and Sean about the magical haircare benefits of their line's not-so-secret star ingredient. Photography by Robin Stein



A natural apothecary line operated by Julia Willis and Alex Kummerow, Herbivore Botanicals' ingredients run the gamut from Japanese Bamboo Charcoal to Brazilian gemstones. We talked with the couple about being accidental soap makers, drawing inspiration from scent, and their ideal Seattle day.   


How do you describe Herbivore Botanicals?
Julia: Herbivore Botanicals is kind of my dream come true. Its all about bringing together my favorite things: creating amazing natural scents, spa-like experiences and pretty designs. I love my job.

Alex: I couldn’t be happier. I love how everything is still done in-house. It is so rewarding creating a product from the ground floor. The initial ideas, the formulations, packaging and design, seeing the label printed for the first time, combining design and product to make something that people know as Herbivore Botanicals… I love seeing people love our product. 


How did this all start for you?
Julia: It really just came together out of nowhere, definitely not planned. In 2011, Alex, who is now my husband, and the other half of Herbivore Botanicals, bought me a soap-making kit for fun. Once I started, I became totally obsessed and knew that I had come upon something important. My friends and family were totally confused by why I was spending all my time doing this! I had never really made anything before and was definitely not a crafty person but once I started I knew it was what I needed to do. So, I pretty much followed my gut feeling
 and started this business. Alex and I now create and design everything together. We are our own formulators and graphic designers.


What inspires your products? 
Julia: For me, new product inspiration usually starts with a scent. Since all of the scents that we work with are plant based and natural I then look into the the properties of that plant, what it is traditionally used for from a therapeutic healing perspective. Then, I start blending and thinking about what other ingredients it would work well with, and what the purpose of the product will be. For example, we are working on a new body oil and our first full blown perfume right now, so I am very much in a world of scent experimentation. Visual images, color and words come next and we like to keep them simple and directly related to the scent of the product and the feeling that it evokes.



Tell us more about where you work. 
Alex: We love our workspace. The building is a tri-level building from 1900 that was used to house the horses that pulled carriages for the Bon Marche back in the day. Sadly, no more horses live here, but it is a great building filled with a handful of artists and creative businesses. 


Any new-to-you ingredients you've been experimenting with? 
Julia: I order samples of new ingredients to test out weekly and am kind of the mad scientist / mixologist around here. My current favorite ingredient is probably Tourmaline gemstone powder. This powder is amazing. It is a pure gemstone powder from Brazil that naturally brightens and refines the skin. You can find it in two of our newest facial masks: Brighten and Activate. My other current favorite is Jasmine Sambac essential oil, it can be found in our Egyptian Jasmine Luminous Body Oil and most likely a few new products that will be coming out for Spring 2015. 


Why Seattle? 
Julia: I am from here, actually. I grew up in Snohomish, a small town outside
 of Seattle. I tried moving away from Seattle a few years ago but missed it too much and came right back! I love Seattle: I think we want people thinking its all doom and gloom here so we can keep it all to ourselves.

Alex: I love the rain. Well, I loved the rain back when I moved to Seattle from a very arid climate. There is something about the Pacific Northwest that I have always found enchanting. It has an almost dreamlike, surreal vibe. The foggy mountains, the misty nights, the perfect summers...


What are some of your favorite things that are happening in the city right now?
Alex: I think maybe the best way to answer this question would be to describe
 my perfect day off. Julia and I sleep in a bit. We wake up and walk to local coffee shop Vivace for a espresso and delicious pastries. We walk a block or two over to Volunteer Park and relax in the grass amongst other Capitol Hill patrons looking to escape the hustle. Next, brunch at our favorite vegetarian restaurant Cafe Flora before heading to a trunk show at Glasswing at Melrose Market. Maybe a little siesta before heading to one of our favorite bars Montana for a Moscow Mule made with Rachel’s local ginger beer. Grab a bite at In the Bowl vegan thai restaurant and set off to see our friend Garrett Vance’s band Night Cadet at some venue on Capitol Hill. To cap it off, we would go to Pony to dance until closing to the tracks our employee/ favorite DJ kkost (Kyle Kostrzewa) would be spinning. 

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Duffy's



There is an old wives' tale that goes something like: put beer in your hair and the malt, barley and hops will make it shinier and healthier than ever before. Duffy's products puts a modern spin on it, using beer from Seattle's Elysian Brewery to make shampoo and conditioner. 

Why Seattle? What was it that drew you to the city / what has kept you there?
Both of us were drawn to Seattle because of its music culture. The beauty here sucks you in too… every time we fly somewhere else it looks lackluster compared to the breathtaking views and lush green landscapes we’re used to. We’re also huge foodies and severe coffee addicts and there is no shortage of either here. As far as starting/running a business, we’ve grown to love how much Seattle fosters those with an entrepreneurial mindset. We began selling Duffy’s at local farmers’ markets in Ballard & Fremont…not many cities have those kinds of grass roots venues so readily available.


Can you share some of your favorite things that are happening in Seattle right now?
We just checked out the Georgetown Carnival last weekend. So many cool things happening in that neighborhood right now! It reminds us of the way Ballard was before it exploded. We had some of the best Mexican food in the city at Fonda La Catrina in Georgetown. It was amazing. 


How do you describe Duffy's?
It gives people a unique alternative to spice up their grooming routine. We’ve revived this age-old wives tale into a fun and sexy product line that has a little more personality and lot more performance than your average shampoo/conditioner.


Tell me more about the Duffy's backstory: what exactly is the old wives' tale about beer and hair?
Back in the 60s and 70s women used to pour straight beer on their hair to add volume and shine. This works great as a short-term solution for dull, drab hair…but we wanted to expand on that. With Duffy’s, we amplify all the benefits beer has for hair while still maintaining that salon quality. We also process out the majority of the alcohol so that your good results don’t end in a dry, pungent mess days later.


Tell us more about how the Elysian Brewery got involved?
We approached several big players in the Seattle brewing scene to gauge who would be interested in working with us. Elysian was enthusiastic from the get-go. They aren’t afraid to get involved in something unique and they’ve been nothing but supportive since day one. Plus their craft brews are complex and delicious! 


What's your go-to brew (for drinking, not hair-washing)?
We're both really excited about the cider scene happening right now. 2 Town’s BrightCider (out of Corvallis, OR) and Seattle Cider Company’s Dry Hard Cider are two of our favorites.  


What's next?
We’re in the R&D stage right now on a beer-based beard wash/conditioner as well as some hops infused styling products. 

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UO Beauty: Rosy Outlook


We've fallen down the rabbit hole of all things rose-based lately, because with this hot, humid weather, we need all the soothing skin care products that we can get our hands on. Read on for some of our favorite products and to learn all about the magical ways roses can make your skin (and life) a little bit better.



1. Anti-inflammatory: Rose oils are actually very anti-inflammatory, which means that all those rose products you're buying for your face actually help soothe any patches of redness you may have. For example, rose water is an easy, natural way to soothe and soften skin. Using rose water and rose toner is better than using alcohol-based toners because it's not as harsh on the skin and isn't drying. (See? Magic!)

2. Aromatherapy: A rose-infused bath will not only moisturize your skin, but it'll also relax you due to the therapeutic qualities of rose oil. One of our favorite bath soaks currently is this all-natural milk bath from Lola's Apothecary. One of the reasons we love this one so much is because of how goooood it makes us feel after a long, hot day at the beach. Plus, you can totally get romantic with yourself and throw some real rose petals in the tub along with it to make yourself feel extremely elegant and spoiled.



3. Moisturizing: Roses have natural oils in them that moisturize the skin, so any kind of rose-based moisturizer is going to be especially good. One of our favorite moisturizing products that isn't a lotion is the Jurlique Rosewater Mist. It's easy to throw in a purse and spray anywhere, and it's also ridiculously moisturizing. It's our secret weapon for this heat, because we can moisturize without having to completely grease up our already greasy faces with lotion.

4. Scent: Whatever, we love the smell of roses, even if the scent is a little reminiscent of Senior Prom 2003. The nice thing about a lot of rose-based products is that they smell that good naturally, so you can smell delightful without worrying what kind of artificial scents you're rubbing all over your precious skin.



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Brands We Love: Antonym

We're excited to welcome Antonym into the UO Beauty lineup, a mineral-based and eco-friendly line founded by the French makeup artist Valerie Giraud and designed in subtly-bold shades that strike that perfect, just-made-up-enough balance. And with a namesake that emphasizes moving away from homogeneity and moving toward people who think outside of the box: it's a movement we can get behind. 

We had fun playing around with all the amazing Antonym products, and asking the ladies behind the brand to share what all is in their summer makeup bags.


What sets Antonym apart from other natural beauty lines?

Antonym was founded on strong performance. We set out to create a line of products that uses gentle natural ingredients but still performs as a premium line should. For us this means strong pigments in color and silky textures.

 

What products are in your makeup bag for summer?

This summer, it is vitamin E oil, the Antonym Medium Foundation, The Peach Blush and the Koral Lipstick. It’s a very summery look, with orange hues. The mascara also never leaves my bag.


 

What's in the Antonym starter kit? 

Mascara, lipstick pencil and blush 


 

What products do you recommend for makeup removal?

I use the Miscellar Cleansing Water from Nuxe or the Melting Cleansing Gel from Nuxe, and follow both with gentle toning lotion. They are very gentle on the skin yet remove makeup perfectly.


Who are some of your beauty muses?

Brigitte Bardot and Audrey Hepburn. Both strong, beautiful women. 

  

Can you share any secret-weapon makeup tips?

I have two tips, especially since Antonym products are gentle on the skin:

1. If you use the eyeliner with a small angled brush you can apply a lighter and more define line for daytime.

2. You can use the baked blush as eye shadow and also on the lips with lip conditioner.


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Studio Visit: Level Naturals, BYRD, and Poppy And Someday

For this installment of Local Beauty, we're heading to sunny Southern California to visit three favorite apothecary lines from the golden coast. Below, three behind-the-scenes glimpses inside the studios of Level Naturals, BYRD, and Poppy and Someday



Level Naturals is a natural soap line founded in 2009 by Jonathan Dubuque and Sabrina Robertson from their organic farm in Hawaii. Now housed in the old PBR brewery in downtown Los Angeles, we talked with Jonathan and Sabrina about loving Los Angeles, drawing inspiration from Thai spice markets, and fueling a business on "elbow grease and coffee." Photos by Chantal Anderson


Why L.A.? What was it that drew you to the city and why have you stayed? 
Jonathan: Why? Because Los Angeles is awesome. Yeah the traffic sucks, and there are no seasons, and every waiter is an actor trying desperately to get a walk-on role on some NBC show and we have the whole boulevard of broken dreams, etc. But, even with all of that going against us, L.A. has an incredible art scene that’s becoming more and more supportive of younger artists, we have the Dodgers and the Kings, you can ride your bike anywhere, and the city is pretty much a giant canvas. Dream it, print it, wheat paste it—you have a city-wide gallery show of your very own. Also, even with all the downside perspective of how many people move here with high hopes of becoming the next big thing and never making it, it’s still a city that has hope and is full of people dreaming. There is something pretty amazing about being in a place with so many people doing everything they can to get what they want. For all of these reasons, I stay here. 

Above: Level's Coffee Almond Salt Soak, made from coffee, four varieties kinds of salt, coffee extract, coffee butter, and almond essential oil.

Can you catch me up to speed on the history of Level Naturals?  
Jonathan: After a ton of wine in a hammock in Hawaii, waiting out what everyone was saying was going to be the storm of the century, we decided soap was how we would make our mark. A couple months later, I left my farm and moved to L.A. to start working with my bestie Sabrina in her garage and started studying plant chemistry. We had a blast doing it; it's a lot like being pastry chef and getting to play alchemy. Within a year we had our first store and six months after that we got to open a manufacturing plant in DTLA at the old Pabst Blue Ribbon brewery. What started out with just the two of us then quickly grew to the 12 people we have on staff now. 

Above: The process of making a Level Naturals bath bomb. The brand scoops 10,000 a week! 

How do you describe the brand?
Sabrina: Delicious. No, really: We want everything to be a sensual experience where you can have luxury without compromising your values, the environment, or your health. Everything we make is made with food-grade products because we discovered that you absorb more of what you put on your skin that what you put in your mouth. So we made everything food-safe (though the only really tasty thing is our body polish… mmmm sugar). 

What’s your production process like? 
Jonathan: Elbow grease and coffee. How it's evolved is definitely more hands, more elbow grease, and a ton more coffee. We still make everything by hand. We used to buy essential oils by the ounce and we would get these orders of 16 ounces of essential oils. We would just stare at these “GIANT” bottles and have no clue how we could ever possibly use that much. Now we are ordering 100 pounds of each essential oil and 55 gallon drums of all of our plant oils. We definitely still have our 'WTF' moments when we receive four pallets of ingredients and can’t believe how we are ever gonna get through all of that material. A week later we are laughing when we are doubling our order. 

Above: stacks of soap ready for packaging. 

It seems like you're well-traveled! Tell us more about travel as an inspiration source. 
Jonathan: Travel has definitely been a huge part of it. We spent a ton of time in Costa Rica just taking deep breaths and smelling all these different rich aromas. Or the spice markets in Thailand and the farmers' markets in Germany selling fresh herbs. In Costa Rica the first thing you do is find a Ylang Ylang tree and pick some blossoms and throw them on your dashboard. The sun cooks them there and fills your car with the greatest scent.  

What three products are in your Level Naturals starter kit? 
The starter kit would definitely be the Shower Bombs, Active Charcoal Soap, and the Room and Body Mist—the essential set for any day!


Above: production scenes at Level Naturals HQ

Give us your quick-hits city guide: what are some of your favorite local spots?  
Jonathan: The L.A. food scene is blowing up right now, always some new incredible place opening up. Amazing sushi like Sugarfish. Some of my favorite spots are The Gorbals in DTLA, Bacaro LA, and Bestia. [Editor's Note: check out The Gorbals' new NYC outpost at UO's Brooklyn concept store Space Ninety 8

Sabrina: The complex we work in, The Brewery, is the the world's largest artist-in-residence community, [including] over 300 lofts and lots of creative and interesting people. We have our own bar and restaurant and now a climbing gym. I live on campus and love it. The whole downtown area is really becoming a great place to be. I've been here off and on since 2000 and have watched it develop into a really fun and vital neighborhood.






How did a professional surfer become the founder of a haircare company? Ask Quiksilver surfer Chase Wilson, the 23-year-old owner of BYRD, a line offering top-of-the line pomades and styling products with a surfer's lifestyle in mind. Chase talked to us about his style icons, "looking slick," and his five-year plan to abolish bad hair days. Photos provided by BYRD. 



Hi Chase! So how did this all begin? 
Being from Newport, the hub of surf culture, I grew up surfing as an amateur and then professionally. You could presume that a surfer starting a men’s hair care line with nothing to do in the cosmetics industry is obscure, [but] having your own look and style and paying attention to your appearance were traits bred in me. I look up to style icon Steve McQueen a lot; even surf legends Robert August and Mike Hynson of The Endless Summer era. There was a greater appreciation for grooming back then that I feel is coming around full circle. Guys are starting to give a shit about how they look and making a first impression. 

In the early stages of high school my friend introduced me to my first "fade" and I was hooked ever since. I feel like things just fell into place after that. There was never a styling pomade I loved that catered to my everyday surfing lifestyle being in and out of the ocean—I wanted a great all-around pomade that I could throw in, go surf, and come out with the same salty slick. I started making home batches of pomade with melted-down beeswax and essential oils in crock pot. After all those failed, I researched a team of chemists to work with on the first BYRD pomade samples. After some months of testing, the idea realized and BYRD Products was born.  

Are you still surfing professionally? How do you find balance there between these two responsibilities? 
Yes, I'm still surfing professionally with Quicksilver. I travel around the world doing the World Qualifying Series (WQS), which is a series of professional surf competitions. Between my surfing career and business, I keep myself busy. It’s a pretty rad thing when work doesn’t really feel like work. 


Tell us something we do not know about surfing.  
All it takes is one session and you're hooked for life. 

Tell us something we do not know about haircare.  
We've commissioned "scientific studies" that showed looking slick = getting babes. 


Tell us more about the BYRD headquarters. 
Our space, The Byrd's Nest is in Culver City. I don't know how to articulate it other than being our office, home, barbershop and event venue all in one creative space. It's one of those things you just have to see for yourself. Within the property's existing building, we installed recycled shipping containers that make up the living quarters and Byrd's Barber Shop.  


Can you share some of your favorite things that are happening in L.A. right now? 
One of my favorite happenings going on in the L.A. social scene is this bar, The Bungalow. It's right on Ocean in Santa Monica and it has the setting of a '60s beach house party. If you haven't already, I would suggest checking it out.  

What's next? 
Right now the focus is launching our new collection of styling pomades that we've done an exclusive run of with Urban Outfitters. These will be released within the next month and we're really excited about how the final product has manifested. Talking long term, you can bet to see the brand conquering hair care then expanding into other markets and categories while always tying back to our roots. It's all a huge learning curve for me so I'm just doing my best to steer it in the right direction. Say in five years, I want people to know me as the kid who abolished bad hair days! 






Poppy And Someday is a natural apothecary line started by Kari Jansen, an Ayurvedic practitioner and herbalist with a background in nutrition. The brand combines, as she explains, "a passion for plants with a love of gardening, wildcrafting, and herbal medicine." We spoke with Kari about the process of creating products by hand, natural stress remedies, and what L.A. musicians she's into right now.  Photos by Magda Wosinska 


Hi Kari! How would you describe Poppy and Someday? 
Poppy and Someday was inspired by plants and their remarkable ability to heal and teach. This product line features an evolving collection of organic body care products, each of which is comprised of a unique blend of constitutional ingredients. The product design process is rooted in the study of Ayurveda and Western Herbalism and focuses on native plant ingredients. 

Tell me about the ingredients you use. 
The ingredients that are used in all of my products are organic and plant-based with no fillers or synthetic additives. Any ingredient not homegrown is sourced from a highly reputable farm in Eugene, Oregon called Mountain Rose Herbs


Tell us something we do not know about Ayurveda as it relates to apothecary products.  
With an extensive study of Ayurvedic medicine, I can rely on my dosha knowledge to help bring balance to everyone who tries my products—the doshas are Vata (air and ether), Pitta (fire and water), and Kapha (earth and water). 

You can bring balance within yourself by healing with the opposite qualities or attributes. For example: If you are dry and ungrounded, the salves would be beneficial to your everyday routine. Dry is a characteristic of Vata and the salve represents the earth element of Kapha. So, if you are feeling anxiety or insomnia then try a self massage with salve and oils on your body to help calm your mind and soothe your nerves.   


Why LA?  
On my first visit, I was drawn and captivated by the overall magic of Laurel Canyon. This canyon is well-renowned as a bohemian neighborhood noted for its music and artisan history and culture. Laurel Canyon provides me with creative inspiration within its breathtaking canyons and serene surroundings.  


Can you share some of your favorite things that are happening in L.A. right now?
Some of my favorite Los Angeles pastimes are hiking in Topanga Canyon, where I can enjoy amazing ocean views. On my way to the hike I love to stop at Heyoka Hideout, where some amazing women who hand make beautiful leather bags manage one of my favorite vintage shops. The Filth Mart in West Hollywood is also a regular stopover of mine. 

For dining, Pace serves up delicious pizza and outstanding wine in the heart of Laurel Canyon. However, nothing beats a great margarita at El Condor in Silverlake then on to the Troubadour on Santa Monica Blvd for some live music. I love to see Allah-Las, Tift Merritt, Jonathan Wilson, and Dawes there. 


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Portland, OR  /  Brooklyn, NY

Studio Visit: Wild Rose Herbs and Willamina

We're looking to the Pacific Northwest for our latest UO Beauty studio visits, with a trip to two Oregon studios, Wild Rose and Willamina Modern Apothecary, both making natural apothecary products with an eye toward seasonality and locally-minded, high-quality ingredients.





A conversation with founder Willow Light on herbalism, starting your own business, and Portland's entrepreneurial support system. Photos by Michelle Cho


Tell us about the history of Willamina Modern Apothecary.
Willamina Mordern Apothecary (WMA) began from my love of herbal healing, plant medicine, aromatherapy medicine, and touch healing therapy. I lived on the Oregon coast on a 17-acre property, [which included a] forest for a backyard, animals, gardens, fruit trees, and wild herbal medicine. We didn't go to the doctor much, we used what we had on the land, really.

When I moved to Portland in 1990, I apprenticed with Joseph Montana, owner of Atlantis Rising… [and later apprenticed with] Grinning Goat Farms, two herbalists I loved instantly and began a three-year intensive with on the farm. I really learned how to make tinctures, cordials, infusions, teas, baths… I was in pure bliss!

In 1999, I went to work for Nordstrom as the lead esthetician of their Decléor Spa. I had access to more than 80 different skincare lines working in the cosmetic department. We had the opportunity to go to any cosmetic training that was offered at Nordstrom, so I went to all of them, and learned a great deal about ingredients, intention, branding, and integrity. It was eye opening.

I decided to go out on my own and offered my esthetic services and my years of study. I began to make my own medicinal herbal tinctures, infused honey, healing salves, and herbal baths for friends and family, then one day, I felt it was my duty to share my knowledge with others. I see WMA spreading the word of aromatherapy and herbal wellness. 


Can you tell us more about the ingredients you use?
It is extremely important to my brand and my integrity that all WMA ingredients are pure, unadulterated and consistent. When I apprenticed at Atlantis Rising, I made a very valuable connection [with] Liberty Naturals...[where] I get everything from beeswax to the best essential oils I can buy. 



What are your favorite products for summer?
I am crazy about WMA Sunkissed Skin Protector. It took me over three years to formulate it! It is purely plant-based with no toxins, parabens or carcinogens, [and is made from aloe vera oil, beeswax, shea butter and a blend of oils—coconut, carrot seed, red raspberry seed, and essential oils]. All of the ingredients on their own as plants have their own SPF built in to their DNA. I use it on my face during the summer as a daily moisturizer; it is very hydrating and illuminating without congesting the skin.



Tell us about your studio setup.
My husband is a craftsman builder and he helped me create my apothecary in our home so that I may work from home and be here for our two young children. I also have a healing touch and wellness studio in our home. I see clients in the evenings. Then, during the day, two-to-three days a week, I make product, ship product, and do the business piece as well. It is a true whirlwind, I love it. 



Tell us about working in Portland. What about the city inspires you and compels you to live and work there?
Portland, Oregon is a wealth of beauty, nourishment, and local companies producing hand-crafted creations to share with others. [There are so many] green, lush escapes right in the city. Portland folks are amazingly talented and creative entrepreneurs, making P-town the best city to live in. I feel like in Portland we are almost cheered on to go out and do something extraordinary.

Can you share some favorite places in Portland? What are your haunts? 
Le Bistro Montage: A local favorite with communal seating. They yell really loud when you order oyster shooters ("TWO OYSTER SHOOTERS!").

McMenamins - Kennedy School: Locally-sourced food, locally owned and operated business, and locally brewed beer. Kid friendly and they have a soaking pool with salt water. 

Lan Su Chinese Garden: The grounds are mystical and so very relaxing. [There's] a large pond in the middle, with koi fish, and a traditional Tea house offering our local Tao of Tea company.




WILD ROSE

Ashley Bessler from Wild Rose on how a childhood of bad-tasting supplements led to her own herbal apothecary line. Images provided by Wild Rose



Hello Ashley! Can you tell us a bit about the history of Wild Rose?

I learned the value of a DIY ethic at a young age. I was raised by a single mother of three and resourcefulness was key in our household. My mom gets credit for introducing me to herbalism. Teas, tinctures and bad-tasting supplements were always on hand, and colorful herb books filled our shelves. This, combined with my immersion in the local punk scene, made me crave the skills necessary to be totally self-reliant. Despite doing well in school, I skipped college and invested in a small library of books on everything from aromatherapy to homesteading.

At first, I didn’t intend to sell my creations. I made them as an alternative to store-bought synthetic products for myself, family and close friends. It wasn’t long before I was selling my herbal salves to the local health food store, funding my new-found hobby. I maintained a low-key presence at farmer's markets and craft fairs for the next four years, even while living off the grid in Northern California. When I found myself back in “the city,” I decided to take my most treasured recipes and reincarnate my products under the name Wild Rose.

Can you tell us more about the ingredients you use?
Wild Rose is my response to an economy where the ecological, political, and social costs of manufacturing are veiled. I spend much of my time tracking down raw materials, packaging, and even office supplies to their source. This minimizes or eliminates the social, environmental, and ethical footprint of my products by choosing sources that are non-GMO, sustainably harvested, organic, or fair trade. I grow many of the fresh botanicals needed for my recipes just outside my workshop.



Are there any seasonal ingredients you're excited to experiment with as we go into the summer season?
Right now our rose bushes are incredibly productive. We collect fresh blooms daily, leaving plenty for the bees and butterflies as well. The petals are dried and powdered for use in our Attunement Facial Mask and Bloom Muscle Rub. Calendula is another flower we grow heavily on the farm. These I tincture fresh for our handmade calendula extract, a vital ingredient for our face washes and Ink Balm Tattoo Ointment. Calendula is also dried for use in our Wild Man Aftershave and garden hand cream. Summer is also time for collecting fresh yarrow, rosemary, cayenne peppers, lavender and sage. Every year, we grow more of our own botanicals right on the land.



Tell us about your studio setup.
We're incredibly lucky to operate out of a 400-square-foot workshop on our two-acre homestead in the heart of Southern Oregon's Rogue Valley. Most days I float between making products, computer work, and tending to the garden. I'm fortunate to have help from my mother and mother-in-law. The mom team helps me with packing orders, answering emails, and bulk bottling/labeling.

When I get the chance to make a new product, I generally look through my "personal stash" for inspiration. All of my products started as a custom recipe for myself or a loved one. I then do an immense amount of research to get the very best ingredients available. The specific formulation of a product could be called intuitive. I tend to know exactly how many drops or milliliters of an ingredient will give me the result I want. 



Tell us about working in Oregon. What brought you there and why do you stay?
Southern Oregon’s Rogue Valley is a hotspot for alternative entrepreneurs. I gain my inspiration from those who have come before me—the formidable, independent herbal and beauty companies who started right here. Of course, I believe the main reason this area is so full of successful, alternative businesses is due to our beautiful surroundings. Southern Oregon, part of the Klamath-Siskiyou Region, is known as a climate “melting pot” as we see the confluence of four different bioregions: North Pacific Coast, Cascades, Great Basinm and California’s Central Valley. The people here are varied, but we all hold the same basic values: a focus on sustainability, a love of nature, and a desire to protect this critical bioregion for future generations.

What are some of your favorite Oregon spots? Can you divulge any secret swimming holes you love?
Grants Pass is a pretty small town (a population of about 33,000) and the largest in the county! You’ll be hard pressed to find a restaurant open past 9pm. And if you’re looking to shop downtown on a Sunday or Monday—forget it! Grants Pass runs on its own schedule; even the cops hold banker’s hours. Most locals find entertainment outdoors, especially on the Rogue River, which runs right through downtown Grants Pass.

This area holds the largest concentration of intact watersheds in the Pacific Northwest, which means we also hold the largest concentrations of secret swimming holes! I’ve lived in the region for seven years, and I feel like I’ve only begun to explore the endless rivers, streams, and lakes. One of my favorites is on the Illinois River about six miles up Illinois River Road out of Selma. It’s a steep hike down the canyon, but a gentle and deep swimming hole awaits with plenty of jumping rocks.

A few more miles up this road you’ll find the infamous Illinois River foot bridge where daring locals take a 60-foot plunge in the river. Another favorite spot is actually north of Grants Pass along the Umpqua River. If you take Highway 138 East out of Roseburg, you’ll be treated to one of the most scenic and easily-accesible drives through the Cascades. There’s more waterfalls than one can visit within a day, plus the most epic natural hot springs near Toketee Falls.


About a Face: Madelynn Furlong

We’re always curious about the daily beauty, hair, and skincare routines of the effortlessly made-up women we know. From concealer to coconut oil, "About A Face" is our insider glimpse into the makeup bags and medicine cabinets of our everyday muses.


Introducing Madelynn Furlong, a Minneapolis, MN-based blogger, designer, and stylist. We love Madelynn's blog Wide Eyed Legless, where she shares her pared-down approach to design and style. Think simple statements, fresh takes on classic pieces, and lots of white. Inspired by her minimalist approach, we asked Madelynn to share her equally austere beauty routine. Photographs by Caylon Hackwith.



Can you walk us through your morning routine? 
The first thing I do every morning is my oil pulling which is a relatively new habit for me, but I have started seeing the benefits from it! After that and brushing my teeth, I wash and moisturize my face. lately I have been loving the cream cleanser and anti-oxident serum from Grown Alchemist. My skin is very sensitive so I like to use as many natural products as possible. 

I'm pretty low maintenance when it comes to my hair; I typically shower at night and only wash it every so often. If I don't leave it down, I will style it in some sort of top knot or half bun and call it good. I have super thick and textured hair—a good cut and dirty hair are my two secret weapons to conquer my mane. 

For makeup, I have been loving the RMS Uncoverup. It's the perfect summer foundation. It's made from a base of coconut oil so it leaves your skin looking flawless and dewy. Then I add a little NARS matte multiple to my cheeks and lips, possibly some Eyeko eyeliner (if Im in the mood), and mascara. I always try to use cream-based products; I'm a big believer in only putting moisturizing and nourishing products on my face.



What about at night? 
At night I wash my face again and use a heavier night cream, depending on if I feel like my skin needs it. Lately its been alternating between Aesop's Primrose Facial cream and organic coconut oil. 


Above: images from Madelynn's Instagram from a lookbook shoot for Nanin

Do you have any secret products you swear by? 
Vitamin E oil. My mother used to use it on our skin as kids and to this day nothing will leave my skin and face softer and as refreshed! I also have been loving the skin stick by Earth Tu Face that I picked up a little bit ago. I'm constantly on the go, so its the perfect thing to always have handy in my purse (it also smells absolutely amazing!). 


How does health play into this? Are there any foods, ingredients, or other natural remedies you are religious about consuming (or avoiding)? 
Like I mentioned before I do an oil pull every morning with coconut oil. I also love detox baths with epson salts and sometimes a little fresh ginger as well. They work wonders on refreshing your mind, body and skin. In general I try to eat fairly healthy and drink as much water, green tea, and green juice as I can! 

Above: A low-fuss take on going out, via Furlong's Instagram

What about fragrance? What's your signature? 
I can't say that I have just one signature scent—I feel like I always smell like some sort of concoction of essentials oils. But I have been really loving the scents by OLO Fragrance- especially the Lightning Paw and Toji scents. 

Above: select beauty favorites, including Dry Shampoo by VERB.

Who are your beauty icons? 
I think I have too many! I find that I admire other women that have strong signature looks, and an ease to the way that they carry themselves, like Anna Karina, Jane Birkin, Leslie Feist, and Arizona Muse... the list goes on and on!


Can you share an embarrassing beauty phase from your past? 
I love having a bob haircut, but let's just say that before I found my current stylist, there had been many phases of awful layered cuts. Which for me usually resulted in poofy soccer mom hair.

Keep up with Madelynn on her blog and Instagram 


SHOP MADELYNN'S UO BEAUTY PICKS:














Special thanks for select wardrobe to Lily Stan Studio.

Studio Visit: Goldies and Meow Meow Tweet


With our vast beauty selection continuously expanding, we wanted to take the time to focus on some of the local beauty vendors and companies that are always working hard on making small-batch products with locally sourced and organic ingredients. This week, a few days ahead of their launches at the new UO Herald Square location, we shine a spotlight on two natural beauty brands from Brooklyn, NY, that we can't stop talking about: Goldies and Meow Meow Tweet. We spoke to Sarah Trogdon from Goldies and Tara Pelletier from Meow Meow Tweet to find out a little bit more about each company. Katie

GOLDIES



Hey Sarah! Tell us a little bit about how Goldies came to be.
I come from a family who was always growing a lot of stuff. My parents are hippies, so I had that background already; I was always gardening. I used to work at Robertas, and when we put in the rooftop gardens I finally had a garden space in New York. I started experimenting with all the herbs by making soaps, and I was really good at it. I'd come wait tables at night with a suitcase full of my products and people just kept requesting more and more. With all my connections from over the years, I eventually started selling in my friends' shops and people from all over ended up just finding me that way. [laughs] And the brand just keeps growing.

When did you realize this could be a full-time business?
I do all the products for the Wythe Hotel which was a big move for the business. That happened right at the end of my year of being a stay-at-home mom, when I had to make a decision about what I was going to do, job-wise. I thought I'd go for it and see if I could make this something to support me and my family. That happened all at the same time and it pushed me to create products that weren't just hippie, but were products that everyone all over the world could enjoy. And I did it!





Where do you find the ingredients you use? Do you grow it all?
It's mostly stuff I have to order. Most of what I grow is for experimenting or testing stuff out within our little family and then I have to source stuff in larger amounts, because I need a lot of it. I make sure it's all sustainable and organic. I try to source everything as close as I can, but a lot of the oils come from other countries.

Do you have a product that's a best-seller?
Yes! Well, the thing that Urban carries the most of is the Vinegar Hair Rinse which is a super, super herbalist, simple recipe. Also, the Vetiver Dream Cream is one that sells well.







How do you decide what you want to start working on next?
Seasons. And necessity and desire. Thinking of things that I'd like to have in my own life. That's basically how the brand got started. The things I would spend money on were wine, cheese and beauty products. [laughs] We sit there and think about how we would make things really pure and unique. Then we do! Like right now we're working on a beachy hair spray that has salt in it but also lightens your hair. We've been testing that one out the past few days on the beach near our studio in Rockaway.

Is there a scent or ingredient you use the most?
We use vetiver a lot, which has really made it onto the scene.





Where do you see the brand going in the next few years?
Hopefully doing more hotels and spas. We're working on a travel kit that will be coming out really soon. And a beach kit, with a tanning oil, hair lightener. Maybe makeup, because I think it's really fun. Just bigger, bigger, bigger. [laughs]






Hey Tara! Tell us a little bit about Meow Meow Tweet.
Jeff [Kurosaki] and I have been doing Meow Meow Tweet for the past five years, but we've been doing Meow Meow Tweet without supplementary jobs for the past two years. It started off because six or seven years ago, my grandma gave me a bar of handmade soap in my stocking from one of her friend's farms, and we were like, "Whoa, this is amazing!" We're artists and always thinking about how we can make things and we were really into urban homesteading, so we were like, "What if we made soap and it supported our performance art?" [laughs] Because of course performance art doesn't support you. So we bought a book on like, Amazon about making soap and it was successful. [laughs]

And that's how Meow Meow Tweet was born.
Yeah, I don't know what would have happened if it wasn't successful. [laughs] We were like, "Whoa, this is awesome!" and also like, "Whoa, this is a ton of soap!" so we started giving it away and people kept telling us we had to sell it. We applied to the Renegade Craft Fair without being an actual business yet, so we went back and forth on the name because we needed one. We have two cats and a bird, so that's where Meow Meow Tweet came from.





What happened after Renegade?
We were accepted for some reason. [laughs] We made so much soap and came up with all the packaging. We don't do any markets anymore, though, except for the Vegan Shop-Up. It's the only vegan open-air market.

What ingredients do you use the most in your products?
When we started, we said we wanted as many ingredients as possible to be certified organic, for everything to be natural and for everything to be understandable to a person who is not in the know. Like if you go to a fancy restaurant and you read the menu and you're like, "I don't know what any of this stuff is." We didn't want our ingredients to be like that. [laughs] Things that everyone understands but also work really well together. Most of the oils we use are from the U.S. and Mexico and then our butters are from South Africa. We definitely source so everything is from certified organic farms, and all of our glass is manufactured in the U.S.





Do you guys have a best-selling product?
Our Deodorant Cream. It's all natural. This was one of the recipes that took the longest to formulate. When I was done with it, I was like, "Jeff, you need to make a drawing that represents how long it took to make." So he drew a snake making a slam dunk. [laughs] If you look at the ingredients, you can understand it all. You just apply it with your fingers and it's highly effective.

Do you have a favorite thing to make?
Well, I formulate all the recipes and Jeff does all the drawings and is in charge of operations. My favorite thing to do is probably come up with new recipes. I always like making the newest thing because it's the thing I've made the least. [laughs] Right now I love making our newest face cleanser.

What are your plans for the future?
To get bigger, but to do it in a way that we can handle and keep the quality of everything that we make. We know we can only grow as much as we can afford but, you know, world domination. [laughs]





UO Beauty: Electric Eyes


Lately, we're all about a bright eye for summer. Since most of us don't have the time (or the inclination) to spend hours globbin' on eye makeup while we're simultaneously sweating our butts off, we asked one of our amazing makeup artists to create a wearable look with a fun pop of color and minimal effort. See our process and recommended products below. Katie



1. Start by using a liner brush to apply the colored eyeshadow of your choosing to just below your lower lashes. We're using a mix of blues here from this bh Cosmetics palette, but any fun shade will work. Make sure to keep the color very close to your lashline - you want a pop of color, not colorful raccoon eyes.

2. To make the color pop even more, you can go even closer to the lashline with a brightly colored eyeliner. We used this Clio Gelspresso liner in "Deep Sea Blue" and "Chic "Navy." Lime Crime also has a liquid eyeliner that comes in some bright colors if you're one of those super talented people who can put on liquid eyeliner without stabbing yourself in the eye.





3. Most of the blue shadows we were using came from the bh Cosmetics Take Brazil eye palette. This is a great, inexpensive option if you're looking to experiment with bolder eye colors.

4. Priming your eye area with concealer will also ensure that the shadow color you choose will stand out against a fully matte background.



5. To give the whole look some extra colorful OOMPH, we layered some bright blue mascara over some regular black mascara. The mascara we used was this bright blue one from TONYMOLY, but Mirabella and NYX also have some good options. (The green Mirabella one in particular is really speaking to me.)



6. Voila, all done! All in all this took about ten minutes to complete and if you're someone who's working your way up to crazier makeup looks, this was subtle enough IRL to wear to the grocery store and not feel like everyone would be staring at you like a monster. Now we're just patiently waiting for the perfect warm day to wear this out.

Shop Electric Eyes

UO Beauty: Christina Rinaldi x Bing Bang

Nail artist Christina Rinaldi of Prima Creative sat in at our Bing Bang NYC launch party last week and made sure everyone who wanted one received a custom manicure that perfectly matched our newly launched BBxUO jewelry line (think delicate and gold). Since we aren't ready to let our manicures chip away forever just yet, Christina provided us with an easy tutorial, along with some of her favorite tips and tricks. Katie



Kintsukuroi Manicure Tutorial
Kintsukuroi = "to repair with gold"; the Japanese art of repairing pottery with gold or silver lacquer and understanding that the piece is more beautiful for having been broken.

Materials:
Base Coat
UO Nail Polish in Optic
Liquid adhesive
White Gold Foil*
Top Coat



Step 1 : Clean, file, buff, base coat.
Step 2 : Paint base color. Keep in mind this look works best with high contrast colors - pick something that’s either drastically light or dark to ensure your foil stands out the most.



Step 3 : Using liquid adhesive, start from one point anywhere on the nail and draw 2 lines extending out from that point. Make the lines thinner at one end to achieve the broken aesthetic. Let dry and apply foil.



Step 4 : Apply your favorite topcoat.**
Step 5 : Admire your Kintsukuroi Nail Art

*Pro Tip : If you do not have foil, you can achieve this look using your favorite gold metallic polish.
**Note : Topcoat will cause foil to shrivel which, in this case, will add to our aesthetic, however it is not recommended for large foiled areas.



About Christina:

I'm originally from the midwest, and have been in Brooklyn for about seven years now. I’ve been painting designs on my nails and friends' nails for as long as I can remember. I became more serious about it when I noticed the popularity my designs were gaining on social media.

My favorite design is anything that has an unexpected element to it, whether it be a beautiful floral with a gold foil handgun or a clean, simple nude nail that has freckles.

The longest I’ve spent on nails was
a solid six hours on a very elaborate full set.

My holy grail products are Seche Vite topcoat and RGB cuticle oil. I take both with me everywhere I go.

I’m particularly inspired by Maurizio Cattelan and Pierpaolo Ferrari of Toilet Paper Magazine. Their concepts are fascinating and I truly love they way they make me think.

This summer I'm listening to
Kelela, Party Next Door, HU₵₵I, Spooky Black.

My favorite spot to go in the summer is McCarren Park Pool.

Read full Bing Bang x UO feature

Beauty is Boring: Made in Korea

From snail extract to adorable packaging, the beauty products we’re coveting the most right now all happen to hail from Korea. We sent makeup artist and photographer Robin Black of Beauty is Boring a bunch of products from TONYMOLY, The Face Shop, Holika Holika and Peripera to play with and report back. 



Read on for her insider tips and tricks and her how-to for a tangerine dream beauty look using our favorite Korean brands.

UO Beauty: Beach Hair


It's fiiinally almost summer which means it's almost time to start packing up and heading to the beach. YES. Aside from eating those amazing Spongebob ice cream pops, we all know the best part of the beach is being able to go home with easy, breezy mermaid hair (even if it does sort of smell like fishy sand). Sadly, we can't all sit on the beach 24/7 to keep up the hair of our dreams, because life is cruel. Luckily for us it's 2014 and beauty companies are now giving us plenty of options to keep our hair lookin' beachified without needing to go to the beach. Read on for our top hair inspiration pictures along with our fave tips and tricks for beachy waves. Katie





1. For more defined waves, it's necessary to use a curling iron and a whole mess of products to keep your hair looking extra voluminous and tousled. Something like this iron from Not Your Mother's makes it super easy for you to give yourself loose waves. (Like, I am a beauty product infant and even I can do it.) For a natural look, make sure to leave the bottom inch or two of hair out of the curling iron and gently brush out your curls afterward; if you don't, there's a strong chance you'll end up looking like Shirley Temple.

2. To make sure your hair stays voluminous and very "I just rolled out of bed like this" even when it's 5 p.m., it's always a good idea to use a volumizing spray (duh) or one of those wacky plumping powders. The plumping powders can be a little trickier to get the hang of (and they feel sooo weird on your hands), but rubbing a tiny amount into your roots will give your hair a lot of textured volume. It'll look like you spent hours letting your hair whip around in an ocean breeze, when really all you did was sit on your bed and watch Netflix.



3. If you're looking for tousled waves that take almost literally no effort, this Beach Babe Texturizing Spray from Not Your Mother's will be your new best friend. It's supposed to be used on damp hair, but I've found that it works just as well on dry hair (in case you're running out the door), and you don't need a lot of it. If you have super straight hair, spritzing some of this onto dry hair and then using a curling iron before setting with a light hairspray is a good way to help waves last longer.

4. If you want to do everything you possibly can to get beachy hair, this Beach Babe Shampoo (also from Not Your Mother's) has Dead Sea salt mixed right in it, so it gives great volume and texture, even before putting any products in your hair. Anything with salt as a main ingredient will obviously give that perfect beachy look, so using these sprays from Captain Blankenship and Brooklyn Beach on top of the texturizing shampoo will do wonders without having to fry your hair with an iron.





5. If you're not in a rush, another good way to get beachy hair is to spritz on some of the aforementioned sea salt sprays or a texturizing spray and then pop your hair up into a few buns. After sleeping on them overnight, you'll be left with perfectly tousled hair with minimal work. Great for those of us who are not morning people.



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Cult Beauty: Mizon

With a focus on skincare over cosmetics, a commitment to harnessing both natural ingredients and scientific advancements, and a good dose of imagination, the Korean beauty industry is light-years ahead when it comes to innovative products. We fell hard for cult brand Mizon, whose product range includes such peculiar delights as King to the Kong No. 1 Kings Berry Aqua Step-Up Cream,  Ultra Wonder Power Jelly Sun and All in One Snail Repair Cream. To celebrate the launch of Mizon at Urban Outfitters, We called on NYLON Korea beauty editor Lee Bo Mi to give us the 411 on her country's beauty bounty. 



Hi Lee! How would you describe the Korean woman's approach to beauty?
Korean women like bright and glowing skin and natural make up because they want to look young.

Why do you think the Korean beauty industry is so much more advanced than ours in the US? 
Most Korean woman care about how they look because it’s a representation of themselves to others. And they're very curious. Because of that, they always want the new thing. Beauty brands [here] are always trying to catch their attention.


What’s your daily beauty routine? 
I try to keep a simple beauty routine. It’s not always good to use too many skincare products. First of all, I clean my make up with a gentle milk cleanser and then wash my skin with a homemade soap I made without any chemical detergents. After that, I apply a plankton essence—it prevents moisture from leaving the skin. Then I use a propolis ampule that relieves redness. Lastly, I apply a cream with alpine berries to lock in moisture.


What products can't you live without? 
Cushion foundation! It makes my skin glowing and healthy in ten seconds. I think Korea has the only cushion foundation in the world. It’s sort of a compact version of liquid foundation, BB cream and CC cream in sponge, and we use the puff to apply it on the skin. This puff is very special; it has millions of holes (like the skin’s pores) and it absorbs well and spreads the foundation evenly on the skin.


Who is your beauty muse?
Jennifer Aniston. She is a perfect example of natural makeup.

Have you tried Mizon products? We’re obsessed with them! 
Yes. I used Mizon Twilight Essence Mist. It’s great. I don’t like face mist, because when I use a face mist I feel my skin gets drier, but Mizon’s is different—it contains serum and birch water. After I finish my makeup, I often spray it on and it makes my skin glow!


What are your top beauty tips and tricks? 
When I use mascara, I don’t apply eyeliner. I just put tons of mascara on my bottom lashes for a 1960s Twiggy look. 

What are the new advancements in skincare coming out of Korea? 
Skincare with fermented ingredients. It’s a kind of “slow” beauty product that uses Korean botanical ingredients.

UO Beauty: Spring Nails


Since we’ve finally made it through the winter (the horrible, terrible winter) and have a fresh new batch of nail polishes available, we thought this would be the perfect time to get our nails all done up for Spring. Heading out after work with our favorite polishes in tow, we visited Heritage Nails in Philadelphia where nail artist Hani Na worked her magic on us. See the result of her hard work below, as well as some of our favorite tips and tricks for keeping nails lookin’ gooood. Katie




UO Parisian and Art School polishes

1. Use oil to set your manicure. There's like, real nail oil you can use, but in my obsessive perusing of the internet, I've learned that cooking oil does the trick just as well. Just make sure you're careful with where you're spraying or you'll end up with a fine mist of cooking oil on everything you own.

2. This Nail Rescue Kit is actually one of my favorite things in the entire world. The little cuticle snipper is highly addictive. If I don't have time for a real manicure (which is basically all the time), I like to clean up my cuticles and then moisturize with Egyptian Magic. Top it all off with a fresh coat of polish and it's almost as good as going to the salon.


UO Left Bank polish

3. For fine, straight lines, it's always possible to freehand designs with Nail Art Pens, but if you've got shaky baby hands like me, then using Scotch tape to block off sections is always a better option. Just make sure that you stick the tape on your hand a couple of times to get rid of some of the stickiness before putting it on your nails. The Beauty Dept. has some good examples of taped off manicures.


UO Blue Jean and Optic White polish



4. If you're super bad at painting on only your nails, another good trick is to rub some Vaseline or lotion on your cuticles before painting. That way, if you end up smushin' some polish on there, it'll be easier to take off. (I know some people who paint their fingers all willy-nilly and then take a shower to remove the excess nail polish from their cuticles, but that just seems soooo tedious. PRO-TIP FOR YOU.)

5. If you have some nail polish that has thickened over time, DON'T PUT NAIL POLISH REMOVER IN IT! It's a good quick fix if you're antsy, but over time, it'll just make the nail polish even weirder. Instead, pop some clear polish in there. It should thin the polish out enough to use it again and it won't break down over time like nail polish remover would. MAGIC.



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UO Beauty: Obsessed with Oils


Oils. Everyone's talking about them. For your skin, your hair, your body...in your oatmeal. Don't know your argan from your marula? Robin Black of Beauty is Boring breaks it down for us, so you can reap the beauty benefits of the luscious stuff. Read the full feature here.

UO Beauty: On-the-Road Hair

With her beaten-up cowgirl boots, artfully thrown-on tie-dye wrap skirt and perfectly disheveled hair, Diane Birch is the epitome of the smoldering singer-songwriter. She oozes equal parts elegance and earthiness; style and soul, and somehow manages to make ‘I’ve been touring for days and have barely slept, never mind washed my hair’ scenarios look seriously attractive. How, we wonder? And so, we grilled her about her on-the-road beauty tricks, musical influences and her new album Speak a Little LouderAnd, with the help of hair stylist Sera Sloane, we show you how to create her I’m-with-the-band textured hair in our exclusive UO Beauty Video
Photography by Mike Persico


Hi Diane! How long have you been a touring musician?
I guess I’ve been making music seriously for about six years…scary! [laughs]. And I’ve been touring on and off for the last five years.

What was your first touring experience like and how did you become comfortable with life on the road?
When my first record came out, I sort of got thrown into the whole thing. I hadn’t really toured with a whole band before and suddenly I was doing things like opening for Stevie Wonder and playing festivals. It was really exciting. I was a little freaked out at first because I wasn’t really prepared for it, but I think with anything you do, when you’re repetitive about it, you get into a flow and you learn your craft. So just doing it and practicing at it has made me a lot more comfortable. I love feeding off the crowd and the energy of the people.



Do you like being on tour?
I like being on the road a lot. It gets a little draining after a while and the novelty kind of wears off. I find myself dreaming about wanting to do laundry or get a coffee on my corner and wake up late, but it’s really fun, there’s a high energy to it. It’s fun to always be in new city and meeting new people and you never know what’s going to happen. I think to have a break in-between is definitely the best scenario.

What are some essentials for the road?
I definitely like to make it feel as homey as possible. I’m really into smells—I love incense, I love perfume. Every time I’m in a hotel room I’ll burn some incense or some sage and I’ll put my oils around. Sometimes I do yoga if there’s room in the hotel or else I just resort to eating multiple bags of chips during the day and scrap the whole health thing for a while! But I try to keep myself feeling good, because although it sounds really glamorous to go out to crazy parties every single night, it’s not really realistic when you’re working hard everyday—you also need to be healthy. I definitely like to take care of myself. Pampering as much as possible and finding people in different cities to give me a massage! 



How do you take care of your hair when you’re travelling?
Being on the road, you definitely have to be prepared to not be able to change in your hotel room or find even a bathroom with good lighting, so you have to be ready in the morning to have everything you need. I wear a lot of hats! If I feel like I hate my hair that day, I just throw a hat on. I use a lot of dry shampoo because sometimes you don’t have time to wash your hair, and that tends to be the perfect cure for grease or flatness. I use a lot of coconut oil—I use it all over my body and if my hair starts getting dry I put it on the ends, so that’s an all-purpose balm that I use. I do blow-dry my bangs pretty much every day, as much as I can find a hair dryer! If the rest of my hair is totally whack, but my bangs are still fine, I feel like I have some control. That’s the general routine.

Tell us about your new record…
I was excited to finally release my new album in October. And it’s great. I’d been working on it for such a long time and there had been a large gap of time between the release of my first record, so it was this big letting go of all of this energy and emotion tied to it. It was really fun to finally get out of the studio and get on the road and start seeing a different side of the music that I created. 



How would you describe your sound?
I don’t really know how to describe my sound; I’ve lost the plot even trying to understand what I do or make! I sort of embrace this emotional side of myself and I’m liberated by being able to express myself in all facets of emotion with my music. I have a definite pop sensibility—it doesn’t evoke the most modern pop but I’m inspired by classic pop: ’70s, ’80s, ’90s…. Even ’80s adult contemporary…I want to be like Phil Collins, basically. I love Tears for Fears, Peter Gabriel, and I’m inspired by a lot of female artists on this record: Kate Bush, Annie Lennox, Tina Turner. Women who were really okay with being vulnerable and that, in a way, was being powerful.

What’s up next for you?
I’m going to be doing a lot of touring in the coming months. I’m going to Asia, Europe, England…so that will be a lot of fun. I’m working on some side projects and doing other things, musically, that I guess people wouldn’t associate me to do, so it’s great for me, because my whole goal as an artist is to not be pigeonholed in one area. I have a lot of friends in music and I’m really excited to do different side projects and put out EPs and things like that. A lot of that stuff is to come soon.


Get The Look!

UO Beauty: Pop of Color

Makeup artist and photographer Robin Black of Beauty is Boring shows us how to add a pop of color to your look for Spring using new products from our Beauty Shop. Read the full feature here.

UO Beauty: Do The Twist

Braids don't have to be uptight and complicated. With the help of New York hairstylist Sera Sloane, we embrace a simple, lived-in braid that feels fresh for spring. "The messier, the better," says Sloane of this relaxed, updated take on the style. "You don't want to see perfect lines." Watch our video and see the rest of the feature here.

Shop hair products

Cult Beauty: Etta and Billie


Alana Rivera is the woman behind Etta and Billie, the handcrafted skincare line we have to thank for this delicious Horchata soap. Alana was kind enough to let us know a little bit about her business, how she uses her essential oils, and the surprising scent mistakes she's made over the years.
Interview by Katie Gregory



How did you get your shop up and running?  
I started soap making in 2006 while working an extremely soul-sucking job. I enjoyed the product making process so much that I decided to turn it into a business. But, it was a very gradual process. I went to get a certificate in Herbalism in 2008 and launched the business in 2009 on Etsy. Then I got my first wholesale account, more followed, and things grew steadily from there. I quit my day job in the Fall to follow my dream full-time.

What is your favorite product you sell?
My favorite product is body oil but soap is by far my favorite thing to make because I get to be really creative. The product that many customers keep coming back for are the scrubs, especially the Grapefruit Cardamom. People love the combination. (It's one of my personal favs, too.)

Body oils seem so amazing, but we're lost! How do you recommend we use yours?  
Body oils can definitely seem a bit intimidating, but they are surprisingly versatile once you know what to do. I use my body oil like a lotion, as a hair treatment and in the bath. If applying like a body lotion, apply a few drops right after you get out of the bath or shower (you can even apply some as a face moisturizer in a pinch or if you have dry skin). I rub a drop through my hair when it's wet as a leave-in conditioner and sometimes use a tiny bit on dry hair to tame frizz. Adding a drop or two to your bath is a really wonderful way to add scent and moisture. I always take a small bottle with me when I travel because it's so multipurpose.



Did you ever mix up a scent you thought would be amazing that just… wasn't?
Yes, although most of them turned into scents other people love. When I first formulated the Cedarwood and Bitter Orange soaps, I was going for completely different scents. For the Bitter Orange, I had envisioned a really lovely citrus-sweet orange-blossom type scent (I was going to call it Orange Blossom). When I mixed up the scent, it just smelled intensely bitter, nothing like I had imagined. I was able to add some additional essential oils to get it closer to what I had wanted, but there is only so much adding you can do before it really starts to get worse! When I poured the soap, I just hoped for the best. After the curing process, I still didn't like it and wasn't sure if anyone else would either but it was so pretty that I had to take it to craft shows with me. So I re-named it Bitter Orange, and to my surprise, people actually really like it. It's a seasonal soap, so I only make it a few months out of the year but it has some die-hard fans that would love to be able to get it year round.  

When you go about mixing up something like the Horchata scent, how long does it take you to get it right?
The Horchata took only two batches to become perfect. It was mostly just fine tuning the scent strength. It all depends on the how complicated the scents are, but I usually get it right within two batches or less. I don't do small test batches. I just get an idea, sketch out how I want the soap to look, think about the scent, sniff a few bottles of essential oil, come up with a scent recipe and go for it!

What are some of your favorite gifts to give for the holidays?
I love finding a unique item for each person on my list, whether it's jewelry, ceramics or a great printed t-shirt. Or giving something that I've made myself, like vanilla extract or rosemary salt.  

Favorite gifts to receive?
I always enjoy getting items that are something I may have mentioned in passing to a friend or family member and then forgot all about it until it shows up. I love a surprise!

What's next for Etta + Billie?
Well, I've always got ideas for new products; developing new ideas is one of my favorite things to do. I'll likely be adding candles and liquid soap to my offerings next year. As far as scents go, I'm toying with a scent based on Dynamo Donuts', iconic Maple Bacon Apple donut or one of my other favorites, the Chocolate Rosemary Almond donut.

Where can we find you online?
Check out my website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Obsessions: Sara M. Lyons

Sara M. Lyons is one of our favorite illustrators on the 'net, and lucky for us she sells her "Creepy Cute" nail decals online right here at Urban Outfitters. We wanted to find out a little bit more about this self-proclaimed "professional weirdo," so we asked her about her illustrations, her favorite nail inspo, and whether or not she hates Tumblr.
Interview by Katie Gregory

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

My name is Sara M. Lyons and I'm an artist and illustrator from Southern California. I just moved back to Orange County after almost ten years in Long Beach, and I'm now enjoying living in the shadow of Disneyland. I make stuff inspired by punk rock, comics, cartoons, pop culture, and what I think of as my version of the American teen girl experience. I like to call myself a professional weirdo, because so much of what I create is informed by having been a weird kid.

What is your favorite thing you've ever drawn?
Oh man. I'm really proud of "Fast Cars, Cheap Thrills," the Lindsay Lohan piece I did for Von Zos, and I love my Creepy Cruisers flash. But more than my finished pieces, I think I tend to like the little doodles and things I do in my sketchbook, silly stuff that often turns into the motifs and designs I use for things like my nail decals and digital drawings.



Your "Whatever, Forever" hands have been reblogged all over the place. Overall, has Tumblr been a positive outlet for you, or is it frustrating due to the number of times you may not be credited?
I have a love-hate relationship with Tumblr, and I think any artist that uses the site would agree. I think it's a great tool for artists as far as getting your work out there, but I do think there can be a big disconnect for a lot of the site's users -- people just click reblog and feel that they now have some kind of ownership over what they're posting. Tumblr is an awesome resource for inspiration, but it's frustrating to see it being used as a stock images library. I think that people forget there's an artist on the other end of everything they're reblogging. I'd like to see the site be more proactive about educating its users about intellectual property, but at the end of the day, I'm just glad my work is reaching so many people.

Who are some illustrators that you're a fan of?
Dan DeCarlo is probably my biggest influence -- I grew up on Betty and Veronica, so there's a lot of DeCarlo in my work. I love Edward Gorey for the creepiness factor, as well as texture. I love his drawings of mysterious women in furs. Right now I'm also really into the cool, girly work of ladies like Jen Oaks, Mel Stringer and Tuesday Bassen, and I have to give shoutouts to my talented artist friends Jennie Cotterill and Nancy Chiu.

We're currently selling your "Creepy Cute" nail decals. Do you have plans to produce more sets?
I just came out with a new set of designs called "Sweet & Creepy" in my Etsy shop, which I like to think of as the sister to my "Cute & Sleazy" sets. They're just a mix of 60 different designs with no real theme. I think I'll always keep doing new sets with designs that have no rhyme or reason, but I also have some themed packs in mind for 2014 -- some fairy tale motifs and more alphabet sets are in the works. I also just started producing all-over nail prints of designs like pizza and UFOs, so I'll definitely be experimenting more with those.



When you're doing your own nails, what do you like to get done? Do you have any nail inspo you'd like to share?
I have acrylics that I keep filed pointy and I'm obsessed with them. I like my shit to be over the top -- I love loading on a bunch of 3D nail art, but all the charms and stones snag my sweaters during the colder months, so right now I'm really into holographic glitter. Some of my very favorite Instagram nail artists are @heynicenails, @thisisvenice, and @astrowifey. I make my artist boyfriend JOSHR do my nails for me sometimes too! (He likes it.) (Really.)

Do you have any secret nail tips you'd like to share with us? Any amazing under-the-radar Etsy nail shops?
I get almost all of my nail supplies from local swap meets and discount stores, but Pepper Lonely's "nail art deco" section on Etsy is the closest online approximation to the nail art booth at the Anaheim Indoor Swap Meet.

We love your style. What are you constantly on the lookout for when you're shopping?
I kind of dress like a cartoon -- I like bold prints and a limited color palette, so I gravitate towards stuff that's a little outrageous but easy to wear. I'm always looking for sweaters and tees with weird graphics or patterns, things that I can mix in with some basic staples and my motorcycle boots or Converse. I also have a weakness for quirky accessories -- novelty sunglasses, printed tights, patterned socks, silly jewelry... Oh god, just GIVE IT TO ME. I feel like the older I get the more I have a sense of humor about clothes.

Where can we find you online?
Instagram, Twitter, and Tumblr!

Model Moment: Anais Pouliot

While in town for the 2013 Holiday Surprise Party shoot, angel-faced model Anaïs Pouliot chatted to us in-between takes about her career and what she gets up to on her days off. Ally

Name: Anaïs Pouliot
Current location: NYC
Hometown: Terrebonne, a suburb of Montreal in Quebec, Canada
Height: 5'10"
Agency: The Society
Astrological sign: Cancer
What you were doing before you started modeling? I was a high school student.
How did you get discovered? I went with my parents to an agency in Montreal. They immediately took me.
What was your first big break? Working for Prada, I believe.
When you're not working, what will we find you doing? Cooking, reading, pilates, yoga, hiking…
Favorite food? Any good homemade food.
What's the first thing you do when you wake up? Make tea or coffee.
What's your off-duty beauty routine? In the morning: Cleaning my face, applying a little bit of concealer under the eyes and some mascara. At night: Making sure all makeup is removed and applying a nice hydrating cream.
What's your number one beauty tip? Curling my eyelashes! It makes my eyes look more open and awake.
Do you have any special skills? I can run in high heels!
What's your life motto? Try and try until you succeed.

Now, strike a pose!


Follow the lovely Anaïs on Instagram and Twitter @Anais_Pouliot!