Naomi (nay-oh-mee) Mahala (muh-hAY-luh)
Hello and welcome! I’m a natural beauty enthusiast, blogger, and botanical perfumer. I also like to write and read a lot. I run Unicorn Crate, a bimonthly YA fantasy book box, and am working on my first novel (a YA fantasy with elements of plant magic and faerie lore). I have an MFA in Creative Writing from Stonecoast, and am certified in The Art of Botanical Perfume from The School for Aromatic Studies. I currently live in New England with my furbaby Leia, a fluffy forest cat.
How My Natural Beauty Journey Began:
Natural ingredients have always been of importance to me, but I really hadn’t researched in depth or started making major changes in the products I use until early 2013. At that time I was researching natural beauty content for a wedding magazine I had started up. I began the journey of trying out dozens of brands who claimed to be all natural, organic, vegan, or all of the above … many of them I fell in love with, and some of them not so much. What I did know was that my life as I knew it had changed. After researching product ingredients, I would never look at makeup, or my skin and hair care items the same way ever again.
I am still, and I imagine always will be, researching and refining my judgments when it comes to this topic. I think it is important we all do, as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not regulate cosmetic ingredients. The agency does not review or approve the vast majority of products or ingredients before they go on the market. With the exception of just a few ingredients, cosmetic companies can use any ingredient or raw material in their products without government approval. Eek! Many of those ingredients are hormone disruptors, can cause allergic reactions, and even cancer. I don’t know about you, but that is really scary. It is up to us to learn about what we’re putting on our skin – not always an easy task.
It is important to note that though I am a botanical perfumer, I’m not a chemist, dermatologist, facialist, or medical herbalist. I am a writer and natural beauty expert, who cares deeply about the products I use. It is my hope that you will enjoy my reviews and musings, and that you will be inspired to begin or continue your own journey in natural beauty – inside and out.
My Thoughts on Beauty:
I went through a phase in college when I thought beauty products were vain, that they didn’t really matter. And maybe in that time in my life, they didn’t. During my late twenties and now in my early thirties I’ve felt a sort of growing into myself… this is a process though, I realize. I now feel that our beauty routines are much more important than I used to give them credit for. I believe our skincare and beauty regimens, and even the fashion we wear are a way of sharing our authentic truths. As Gabrielle Bernstein says of fashion, “It’s not frivolous; it’s not mere decoration—fashion, in the right hands, has a soul. […] Fashion is a form of self-love.” I feel this also applies directly to natural beauty products, healthy food, and an all-around healthy life-style. I don’t wear lipstick to look good for anyone else. I wear it because it makes me feel happy, powerful, and motivated or inspired. Because it reflects my mood that day. Because it elevates my energy levels and vibration.
I encourage you to take your personal journey in stride and incorporate natural products into your life as you see fit. Whether you want to dump all your current products and start over all at once, or slowly replace your products as you run out of them is up to you. I hope this blog will help you make great choices.
Am I a Green Beauty “Purist”?
No. I try to use the best possible ingredients whenever I can though. Some products are more natural than others of course. In my opinion, if you find a moisturizer you love that is 90% natural, and you absolutely fall in love with it, well it is much better than many of the alternatives! Just be aware of greenwashing, and if you’re interested in what ingredients are what, I highly encourage you to read some common myths about cosmetic safety, to explore the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database (where you can search more than 74,000 products), and to pick up a copy of A Consumer’s Dictionary of Cosmetic Ingredients (which I reference often).
xo – Naomi
Other places you can find me on the web: