Invest in your skin. It is going to represent you for a very long time – Linden Tyler.
Hands up if you are not 100% happy with your skin.
We all have some form of an issue with our skin. It is our largest organ and is easily affected by excessive sun exposure, sugar, greasy food, alcohol, stress or lack of sleep. As we get older we have the added stress of delaying the inevitable ageing process. For a while I was somewhat smugly convinced that I seemed to have successfully avoided that awkward prepubescent pimply ordeal only to be hit with it full force in my twenties. I tried everything from ridiculously expensive laser treatments, facials, Vitamin A tablets, and a range of different products and was still left with horrible skin. Drastically changing my lifestyle over the last five years has improved my skin quite extensively but I was nervous to try 100% natural skin products for in case it leads to a terrifying breakout again.
Jesslynn, owner of Lulu and Marula, approached me a while ago to try out her range of products and to do a collaborative photo shoot. Lulu and Marula creates a collection of small batch, all natural skin care products that are handmade in South Africa. I have had my eye on her products for quite some time and was excited to see how 100% natural products would react on my oily, acne prone skin. We set up a meeting with photographer Lindsay of Dearheart Photos (fiercely talented female that one) and discussed the shoot. Working for myself leaves me a bit socially deprived from time to time so it was pretty fun getting to know these exceptionally talented creative souls. We set the date for the shoot where they would follow me during my daily routine with the beautiful Lulu and Marula products in my home.
The products blew me away. First of all, no breakouts! Whenever I have attempted to switch skin products in the past I generally have the inevitable breakout phase, but it never came. Jesslynn placed a big emphasis on creating loving skin care routines during the day. She showed us how to massage our faces while using the products. This might sound airy-fairy but the smells and textures of these products have to be experienced to really understand them. It smells and feels heavenly on my body and I now make the time to really take care of my skin and to have some luxury me-time either with a bath, mask or just applying some body balm all over. Jesslynn, you have made a lifelong customer out of me and I am thrilled to finally have a 100% natural skin routine.
I set up a little Q+A to learn more about Lulu and Marula.
When did you create the Lulu and Marula brand and was there a special reason behind it?
I created L & M in October 2013, kind of by accident, after years of making products for my own use. My mother used to always make her own soaps and body butters, so I got into it too. At that stage there were very few local, natural skin care brands, and I couldn't find anything that worked with my temperamental skin.
Tell us the story behind your incredible branding and exquisite visuals on the products?
Originally from an advertising and marketing background, I was lucky enough to know a bunch of great designers. A designer friend of mine, Anzel from White Kite Studio, offered to help me with my branding so that she could have a portfolio piece that would help her launch her own design studio. I specialise in business and marketing strategy, so that helped me to build my own brand that I knew others would resonate with. All the botanical patterns on the labels are actually photographs that we took by laying out real plants and fruits onto coloured boards. We wanted something truly unique to the Lulu & Marula brand.
Where are your products made and by whom?
They are made by me, Jesslynn, in my home studio in Cape Town.
How does using 100% Natural skin products compare to the mass-produced chemical options?
You know exactly what's in the product, and thus what you are putting on your skin. You know that all the ingredients are safe to use, no matter what your skin condition may be. That our whole supply chain supports local businesses, and our products are made with absolute care. Your skin is your body's largest organ, and it absorbs most of what you put on it. You should be just as conscious about what you put on your body as what you put into it.
Do you have any tips on how to massage your face while using the skin products?
A good face massage makes all the difference to your skin! Just 5 minutes a day while you watch series is all you need. Apply a good facial oil, such as our Nourishing or Purifying Treatment Oil, and massage your face starting from your cheeks and nose, and work your way out towards your temples and jaw line. Use firm strokes using your finger tips and knuckles. There are loads of YouTube videos on how to do it 🙂
What is your number one beauty tip for women?
Always take at least 5 minutes a day for yourself to just breathe, reflect, and be aware of the now. It's incredible how stress has such a toxic effect on our body and skin.
What is your personal favourite product from the range, and why?
I switch back and forth on my favorite product depending on how my skin is feeling, and what the weather is like. But right now I'm really loving the Nourishing Mask and Polish. It works as both a face mask and an exfoliator, making skin smoother and brighter. Nothing like a good exfoliation to get your skin glowing!
Supporting your worthy local brands is so important. No one has paid me to say nice things; this is my true take on the brand. The products are sensational. I am pretty sure I am annoying Sean to death with my euphoric comments about the smells and how it feels on my skin. If I have a particularly rough day I run myself a bath with the Calming Bath Oil, light some candles and put my Purifying Mask and Polish on. I can then read a bit or just listen to music. It’s my healing me-time to unwind and pour love into my skin.
Lindsay, your photographs are absolutely magnificent. You made feel absolutely beautiful and at ease in front of the camera and I would highly recommend you for any lifestyle or wedding shoot. Take a peek at Dearheart Photos on her website or Instagram (it is so worth it).
We have set up a Luxury Giveaway to celebrate our collaboration on Instagram. Stand a chance to win one of my limited edition 10 'West Coast' fine art prints AND a Lulu and Marula Purifying Mask & Polish with the gorgeous Face Mask Brush & Bowl worth R1260.00. Take a peek on Instagram and enter if you’re feeling lucky: Maria Magdalena Atelier or Lulu and Marula.
Products: Lulu and Marula
Photography: Dearheart Photos
Illustrator: Maria Magdalena Atelier
P.S. What do you think of my new home? I have been bursting to share photos!