From homemade cruelty-free makeup to edible, skin-nourishing face masks, we at Vilda Magazine are always down to try our hand at DIY green beauty, so I was thrilled to receive two DIY kits from Oleum Vera. Based in Montreal, Oleum Vera curates DIY beauty kits using only plant-based, certified organic, and sustainably harvested ingredients. The company’s mission is to provide people with more control over what they put on their bodies:
“We want to take body care out of the hands of the beauty industry and reclaim it for humans like us, who like plants, the Earth, and being able to pronounce the names of ingredients.”
Each kit is organized around a purpose, including facial cleansing, facial moisturizing, body care, home spa, hair care, and men’s grooming. In addition to organic ingredients, all kits include a recipe booklet (in six languages) and containers for the products you create.
Feed Your Skin Kit
This kit contains:
Lavender, frankincense, tea tree, and geranium essential oils; marula, jojoba, tamanu, pomegranate, and vitamin E oils; plant-based glycerin; and a reusable spray bottle, two dropped vials, and a funnel. The recipe booklet includes some recipes that rely exclusively on the provided ingredients and others that recommend adding common kitchen items like cucumber and chamomile tea.
The ingredients can be used to make facial toners and moisturizing serums that can be customized based on your skin’s needs. For example, if you have acne-prone skin, you can make a “Green Tea & Vodka Toner” and “Crisp Tea Tree Serum.”
Having combination skin, I created a facial moisturizing serum with a base of marula, jojoba, pomegranate seed oil, and vitamin E oil. I then added frankincense and tea tree essential oils. I’ve been using the serum for about three weeks now—and I’m loving it! My skin has been clear and glowing, so I certainly plan to use every last drop of this serum—and then make it all over again.
My Favorite Ritual Kit
This kit contains:
Frankincense, vetiver, patchouli, and lavender essential oils; macadamia, grapeseed, kakui nut, and avocado oils; white kaolin clay, bentonite clay, activated charcoal, and spirulina algae; and a glass bottle dropper vial, mortar & pestle, and funnel.
The ingredients can be used to make a massage & bath oil and clay-based masks. Like the recipes for the facial moisturizing kit, the home spa recipes sometimes include outside ingredients like apple cider vinegar and avocado.
One of my “secrets” for treating my skin (beyond just my face) has been to mix a few drops of oil with my body lotion and apply liberally post-shower. Naturally, I immediately whipped up a sumptuous body oil using macadamia, grapeseed, kakui nut, and avocado oils with generous doses of vetiver and frankincense. I use it every day, and it keeps my skin from getting dry and tight (despite all the indoor heating these days!).
I am hugely pleased with these kits for several reasons. For one, both kits provide a generous supply of high-quality ingredients. Purchasing these organic ingredients individually would really break the bank. I imagine that I’ll be able to get at least three vials worth of facial oil from the provided ingredients in the facial moisturizing kit—enough to easily last me for a year!
Second, I love the variety of ingredients. We’re all probably used to seeing lavender and vitamin E in DIY beauty recipes—but vetiver and kukui nut oil? Marula and frankincense? Bring it on! I imagine these kits will help introduce people to fabulous, lesser-known ingredients that do a much better job nourishing skin than the average conventional product.
Finally, the beauty product snob in me appreciates that the containers for both the ingredients and the finished products are glass/ceramic and opaque. Opaque containers protect ingredients from light, which degrades them, and non-plastic containers ensure that no sketchy chemicals leach into the product.
You can explore more of Oleum Vera’s beauty recipes here.
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Photos: Oleum Vera, Mary Hood Luttrell