BEAUTY: The creams of the crop
The brands using autumn’s finest ingredients
The concept involves using produce that can be harvested now
I realise that it’s no newsflash to say that the trend for eating what’s in season is on the rise. But the concept is also steadily growing in beauty land, and nowhere more so than for Björk (meaning birch) & Berries. This Swedish brand relies on the natural foraging calendar and adopts a local harvest-to-table approach. The family behind it owns a farm in northern Sweden, as well as a Michelin-starred restaurant, Fäviken, where the focus is on local, home-grown produce and using ingredients wholly, rather than wasting any parts. This ethos has started to inspire the product development for Björk & Berries.
‘We wanted to merge these worlds and learn from each other,’ says the brand’s CEO Isabelle Lewenhaupt. ‘So we started a small herbal garden, which we harvest every year, and made our Björk & Berries Bath Salt From the Garden (£29, johnlewis.com) from the plants, such as camomile and lavender, alongside handpicked birch leaves.’
As with food, it means that quantities are limited – a concept that feels fresh and very much in tune with the growing movement towards ‘clean’ and organic beauty. ‘Production depends on the harvest, so I think we only have about 300 bottles left. We just finished this year’s harvest last month, and we’re now weighing it to see how much we have before we can plan product numbers.’
You can call it seasonal, you could call it slow – and this stuff slows things down in other ways, too. The salts smell delicious but in a really comforting and enveloping way. Add them to your evening soak and wallow your way to some serious relaxation.
Other labels also look to this seasonal approach, revelling in using ingredients that will naturally limit production. Chantecaille, a brand that is always conscious of the environment, has its Rose de Mai products, including a luxurious Face Oil (£160), as well as an accompanying Body Oil (£80) and Cream (£182, all spacenk.com).
‘We can only make what we harvest,’ says a spokesperson for the brand. ‘If the roses don’t bloom in abundance due to drought or a long rainy season, then we cannot create the heart of our skincare range. This means it often sells out – and isn’t restocked until the following year.’
And in the fragrance world – where everything always seems to be so abundantly available, no matter how expensive the raw materials – Diptyque Essences Insensées (eau de parfum, £170, harrods.com) stands out. The scent changes every year, depending on the best crops and blooms of the season, which will have been affected by weather. Whatever stands out is what the perfumers will work with (the process is inspired by a centuries-old tradition called mille-fleur). This year the main note is the tiaré flower, but in the past it’s been mimosa, jasmine and rose.
Rush to the blush
Perricone MD No Makeup Blush, Clarins Joli Blush
My name is Edwina and I’m a blushaholic. Seriously, I love discovering a new one. Truth be told, Perricone MD No Makeup Blush (£29, perriconemd.co.uk) isn’t new, but has been recently reformulated and I’m back to using it almost all the time. It now contains added beneficial skincare ingredients, such as daisy extract for skin brightening. It advises using three drops on the apple of the cheek, but I find it’s so well pigmented that I don’t need nearly as much. It gives a natural and dewy glow and works on all skin tones. The recently launched Clarins Joli Blush (£27, clarins.co.uk) is a newfound favourite. It’s finely milled but gives good longwear action and a perfectly pitched dose of flush.