This is the first installment in our brand-new monthly product round-up by our beauty & style editor Kayla Jacobs. Kayla grew up in London to a South African family, and her perspective on global beauty is kaleidoscopic. "I try so many new products, so it really means something when I find a handful that I keep reaching for day after day." Each month, she'll explore the latest and greatest products launching now, plus a few cult classics you need to know about.
We're going to be featuring new-on-the-scene products starting in January, but for the first one installment this cozy December, I wanted to give you a peek into the products closest to my heart (and the containers that empty quickly in my bathroom). My product picks for December are the living, breathing embodiment of winter warming and olfactory fantasies come true....so basically a blaze of palo santo and essential oil.
My favorite essential oil, geranium, grows in abundance in Southern Africa, and geranium farms are booming as they export the oil worldwide. My day is infinitely better if I have the time to mix and play with Neal's Yard oils, which I know sounds indulgent, but who doesn’t want to choose the metaphorical horse on which they ride on from sunrise to sunset? As it’s cold, I’m all about a little frankincense, myrrh, rose, and geranium because it’s warming and holy (and I think that’s what Bethlehem would have smelled like), which seems powerful. I keep on imagining the endless possibilities. Neal's Yard Geranium Oil ($16.75)
Fourth & Heart
I could tell you that ghee is the secret to making the perfect curry, but you already knew that. Indian-style butter with a kick has been all the rage for a while, and just when I thought the perennial staple (that's a mainstay of Ayurvedic rituals) couldn't get any better, Fourth & Heart came and took my breath away. The artisanal brand founded by Raquel Tavares Gunsagar and Lilly Wunsch is an ode to the fourth chakra of the body (heart chakra) where most of us can get a bit stuck. I'm pretty obsessed with the Madagascar vanilla-bean-flavor, because it tastes like heaven on sourdough toast with lashings of honey, and it uses sun-dried beans that are 100 percent Organic Fair Trade Certified. Fourth & Heart Madagascar Vanilla Bean ($14.99)
Fat And The Moon
Moody eye makeup works surprisingly well in just about every instance. I’m faithful to good old-fashioned burnished lids, and Fat And The Moon's Eye Coal (I'm convinced the name has something to do with my ardor) is a great starting point. Add a little gloss and glitter with Kjaer Weiss Dazzling Highlighter—which catches the light beautifully—and finish with a smudge of Lucas Papaw balm on top. Oh, and there are only four ingredients: sunflower oil, black oxide powder, white clay, and organic beeswax. Fat And The Moon Eye Coal ($18)
Aerin X The Super Elixir
Is Elle McPherson's Super Elixir a beverage, ingredient, or supplement? Who cares! You can find me either drinking copious amounts of it in plain old water, adding it to creamy smoothies, or getting creative and spiking my dairy-free ice-cream and paleo pancakes with its kermit-green hue. The collaboration with Aerin Lauder transforms self-care from the mundane to the sublime (who doesn't want a gold caddy I ask you), while the sky-high content of antioxidants makes it a potent anti-inflammatory remedy, too. WelleCo The Super Elixir + Aerin The Super Elixir with Caddy, 600g, ($250)
Flower essences are herbal infusions or decoctions, made from the flowering part of the plant, which uniquely address emotional and mental aspects of wellness. Flower alchemist and founder of Lotus Wei, Katie Hess, has made a beautiful ode to joy and happiness with this elixir. Literally sunshine in a bottle. Lotus Wei Joy Juice Elixir ($35)
The Ancient Egyptians believed silver gave superhuman powers to those who wore it. While that may have been a bit of a stretch, it does hold promise for the multitasking prize: maintaining healthy skin and rebalancing energy. Julisis Silver Mineral Mask, a cult product in Germany, has a certain je ne sais quoi: rare ingredients and a founder who studied Paracelsus, a Renaissance physician, and botanist as a basis for his intriguing concoctions—a veritable mineral fest for the skin. Julisis Silver Mineral Mask ($157)
There's relatively few things that a good oil can't cure to my mind. Whether I'm suffering from chills, anxiety, or muscular aches, this combination of small-batch Palo Santo essential oil from Peru and grounding vetiver seems to soothe every ailment. Each bottle also contains Self-Heal Flower Essence by FES and a smoky quartz to dispel negativity. Monk Oil Palo Santo Skin Potion ($52)