Our Newest Product is Almost Here…

New product development may be the most fun part of my job. It is scientific, creative, challenging, satisfying. There is research, there are prototypes. There are misses and bad skin reactions. And then one day, everything comes together and a new member of the Alchimie Forever family is born.  

Our newest product will be on shelves mid-July, and I can’t wait. Ask and you shall receive! It is a calming, soothing, hydrating, anti-aging body lotion, its name will be (very literally) Soothing body lotion – because it soothes the skin, and soothes the soul. This all-over body cream will complement our existing body product assortment, comprised primarily of targeted problem solvers (Firming gel for neck and bust, Optimizing body contour gel, Dry skin balm).

Much of the new product development process involves looking at products from other brands that fall in the same category. I have been testing body lotions for months… and here are some of my favorites.

Goe (for Garden of Eden) Oil by Jao. This semi-solid oil transforms into liquid oil as you massage it into your skin. It is composed of 28 fruit and flower oils and butters, and the medicinal aroma reduces my blood pressure. The directions say to use sparingly, that less is more – but I can’t help myself and slather it generously over my entire body.

Body Salve (Geranium Cedarwood aroma) by Spa Rituals. I adore Shel Pink, the woman behind this brand, and I love the texture of this product, which is not quite a cream, not quite a balm.

Stress-fix Body Lotion by Aveda. The best part of this lotion is its lavender aroma, formulated to reduce feelings of stress. (Side note, I also love the Stress-fix Soaking Salts in a hot bath before bed.)

Stress Relief Moisturizing Lotion by Aveeno. Can you see the theme here? A competitive product test has to include at least one drugstore product, and I must admit I like this lotion, although I know I shouldn’t because the ingredients aren’t great (did anyone say petrolatum?). Once again, the lavender aroma is a big part of it. I also love the pump packaging.

Herbalderm Sensitive Body Lotion by Rausch. Of course, I had to test a brand from Switzerland. This product is based on Swiss plant extracts and leaves my skin hydrated no matter the climate or dryness.

What’s your favorite body lotion? And are you as excited as I am for the arrival of our Soothing body lotion? July is almost here…

Lessons in Slow Beauty… happy birthday Shel Pink!

Today was a great day. There are many reasons for this, despite the fact that it was a Monday… one of those reasons is that it is the birthday of someone whom I very much respect and admire. Today is Shel Pink’s birthday. If you don’t know her, or don’t know of her, yet, I would encourage you to learn more. She is a fellow beauty entrepreneur, works in a family business, and will change the way you look at nails, and nail polish – perhaps at beauty overall. She is the founder of SpaRitual, vegan nail lacquer and of the Slow Beauty movement.

I had the luck of meeting Shel at an industry dinner not even a year ago. I had one of those “Brad Pitt” moments, which in my life means I get giddy and speechless because I just met someone so gorgeous inside and out, someone who has made such a difference, that I forget I can speak. Luckily for me, Shel thought that despite my excitement I remained quite coherent, and agreed to do a Beautyview. That was the start to a friendship that is still blossoming, the start of a relationship that I hope will shape our lives and respective brands for years to come.

Here are a few more specific reasons I am grateful to have met Shel…

  1. She reminds us that we need to slow down. She pioneered the Slow Beauty movement, reminding us that we can get off the fast track and take the time to enjoy the simpler pleasures in life.
  2. She believes everyone’s first and foremost relationship is the one we have with ourselves. One of my mother’s founding concepts behind Alchimie Forever is that we all need to take care of ourselves, much better that we do – hence our tag line “self care through skin care.” And sometimes, it is good to (re-)hear truths from people other than parents. Shel reminds me that indeed, if I don’t take care of myself, I won’t be able to take care of anyone else.
  3. She dislikes routine, and loves rituals. What makes these two words, which both start with the letter “r,” so different from each other? I abhor routine, perhaps above all else. Yet I love rituals, which are simple, uncomplicated, peaceful, and peace-inducing. Thank you Shel for highlighting this distinction.
  4. Without knowing it, she influences my reading list. The most recent book I added to my list is Small Graces by Kent Nerburn. It should arrive in my mailbox next week, I cannot wait!
  5. Also without knowing it, she helps me reflect, and enhances my thinking. Most recently, my thinking about why I love book club so much.
  6. Perhaps most importantly, Shel helps me live by one of my core values, which is beauty and aesthetics. I value beauty in every aspect of my life – my surroundings (art on the walls is a must), my behavior (arguments are ugly, love is beautiful), and my appearance (looking good makes me feel better and act nicer).

Happy birthday Shel. Thank you for making the world a more groomed, more beautiful place, one nail, one soul, at a time.

BeautyView: Shel Pink, Founder, SpaRitual

I am not easily star struck, not in the traditional Hollywood sense of the word anyway; unless you are Brad Pitt, my heart won’t even skip a beat. I do get completely star struck by successful entrepreneurs, however, as I did a few weeks ago. As I was leaving an industry dinner, I was introduced to Shel Pink, the Founder of SpaRitual. I was speechless for a minute, in awe, grinning uncontrollably, before trying to recover by hiding my non-manicured hands and telling her how much I admired her. And what is there not to admire? She is a gorgeous, successful, beauty entrepreneur, with ties to family business, and the creator of some of my favorite nail polish colors (her Surreal blue is particularly amazing). And she is a poet…

AP: What city were you born in? SP: Royal Oak, Michigan.

AP: What city to do you live in? SP: Los Angeles, CA.

AP: What is your middle name? SP: Lori.

AP: What is your astrological sign? SP: Leo.

AP: What is your favorite thing about the beauty industry? SP: The Spa Tradition.

AP: Least favorite thing. SP: The concept of “anti-aging”.

AP: What is your most prized possession? SP: I don’t have one. I value my family and friends the most.

AP: What is something about you most people don’t know? SP: I am a poet.

AP: Do you wear a watch? If yes, what model? SP: No. I haven’t worn one in over 20 years.

AP: Diamonds or pearls? SP: Blue Garnet.

AP: If you could have dinner with the person of your choice, who would it be? SP: Joseph Campbell.

AP: What is your secret to work/life balance? SP: Exercise.

AP: What are your three top tips for travel? SP: 1. Don’t eat sugar. 2. Meditate 3. Carry a hands-free purse.

AP: What is your favorite book? SP: Women Who Run With The Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes.

AP: What is your cocktail of choice? SP: Anything with ginger liquor.

AP: What is your #1 beauty secret? SP: A regular meditation practice.

AP: What fragrance do you wear? SP: Lovely Day by Ramon Monegal.

AP: Botox or not? SP: Not.

AP: Hair color: natural or not? SP: Natural with highlights.

AP: 3 songs on your ipod right now. SP: Love Song by Elton John, Lovesong by Adele, All I Need Is Love by The Beatles.

AP: Quote to live by. SP: I am.

AP: Who is your mentor? SP: My father-in-law and Orly Founder, Jeff Pink.

AP: Words of advice for young women starting their careers today. SP: Be tenacious.