May Lindstrom Skin The Blue Cocoon

May Lindstrom, model turned self-proclaimed "beauty chef" is arguable the darling of the green beauty world. Her concoctions are elegantly packaged and smell divine. Each product is a daily sensory experience; incorporate two or more and you've got yourself a serious ritual.  

Her Jasmine Garden Mist (not pictured) is a light floral and chocolate-ly  scented mist that revives complexions midday. I keep a bottle on my desk at work and I get a lot of zen out of the 3 seconds I take to close my eyes and spray it over my face -- no matter what my officemates must be thinking. 

And her Blue Cocoon balm, blue with blue tansy, is a mystical looking solid oil that melts instantly upon hitting the skin. It's soothing and hydrating, and great at quelling inflammation. It heals angry breakouts, and works as a great lip balm and eye cream in the parched winter months. Just be careful if you open a tub of this in July, I sloshed a good bit of it all over my bathroom counter. Yet another reason to break this one open in the winter. 

Estelle & Thild Biocleanse 3 in 1 Cleansing Foam

I snapped up a bottle of this in Stockholm before heading home. Based in Sweden, Estelle & Thild is the real deal -- a clean skincare and bath line with effective ingredients sans any toxic nastiness. Plus everything they make looks beautiful, no doubt thanks to the aesthetic of founder Pernilla Rönnberg and evidenced in their gorgeous Instagram feed. The cleanser itself is great, removes makeup without drying out skin, and smells divine.

Dr. Hauschka Bronzing Concentrate

When Sephora first opened in Seattle, it carried Dr. Hauschka. My first introduction to the line was back in 1999. Gwyneth Paltrow had been in the store earlier that day, apparently, because someone ran off with her toiletry bag while she was traveling to Seatac. Before heading up to Vancouver to shoot scenes for The Talented Mr. Ripley, she stopped at Sephora to restock her beauty essentials, to the collective joy of the staff there. Per the movie's principal make up artist's orders, she was using a regimen of Dr. Hauschka before and during filming so her skin would look incredible without makeup in the close up shots outdoors. 

I also heard from the same salespeople that the bowls to mix Dr. Hauschka's formulas are blessed with ceremonial feathers before batches are mixed, as well as the some morning rituals before they start their work day. I'm not sure how credible any of this is, but I can confirm with certainty that the line is no joke. And one of their hero products, a star of their line, is their Bronzing Concentrate.

The color is spot on, not too red or orange. Mixed with either a facial oil or moisturizer before application, it turns winter pallor into a credible summer glow. Like you've been doing sun salutations in the actual sun. In a garden. In August. There's a faint suggestion of shimmer, and the texture is silky and weightless (First ingredient is water, the second is olive oil). One pump infuses the skin with delicate color, two to three pumps gives a bronzed up glow.

One Love Organics Vitamin C Serum

Another product from the deservedly much hyped collaboration between Elizabeth Dehn and One Love Organics,  this Vitamin C based facial serum is my favorite of the four. Its perfect supple texture sinks into skin immediately, giving it a rested and healthy luminescence. 

If you're looking to gift someone (no matter what age, skin type or climate), you can't go wrong with a bottle of of this serum. The first two ingredients, jojoba seed and shea nut oils are readily absorbed into the skin, delivering a strong drink of water and increasing skin resilience. Green tea seed, meadowfoam seed, Vitamin E, rose hip and sea buckthorn oils follow afterwards, all of which are high achieving antioxidants.

Why the fuss about antioxidants? They'll help your SPF do its job, armor skin against pollution (free radicals) that will eventually cause skin damage and discoloration. A pump of this underneath your daily moisturizer or night cream will both help stave off signs of aging, but also nurture your skin during its nightly repair.