This organic skin-care line from founder June-wei Sum incorporates antioxidant-rich passionfruit—lilikoi is the fruit’s name in Hawaii—as well as other good-for-skin ingredients such as hibiscus, ginseng, and chamomile. The facial wash exfoliates using powdered bamboo and crushed walnut instead of the conventional plastic beads.
Where to find it: lilikoiliving.com.
Shea Yeleen International
DC’s Rahama Wright founded this fair-trade line, which works through a West African shea-butter cooperative. The shea butter is free of chemicals and preservatives, and the formulas are made from essential oils and plant-derived ingredients. The line includes body butters, balms, and soaps.
Where to find it: Selected Whole Foods stores and sheayeleen.com.
Kara Brook—an artist who works in beeswax—has branched out into honey-derived products such as body butters and soaps. Tinted lip balms contain moisturizing honey and protective vitamin E.
Where to find it: Lauren Liess & Co. (776-A Walker Rd., Great Falls; 571-926-7825), Honey House (10989 Red Run Blvd., Suite 204, Owings Mills; 410-415-3027), and waxingkara.com.
Sara Damelio landed on the formula for her signature Combat-Ready Balm after experimenting with hundreds of versions in her kitchen, and her followers credit the skin salve with alleviating complaints ranging from eczema and sunburn to insect bites and diaper rash. The entire line is handcrafted in small batches from natural and organic ingredients, without parabens, petrochemicals, fragrances, or dyes. Plus, the brand, headquartered in Silver Spring, is committed to using nontoxic cleaning supplies during production and incorporating recycled and biodegradable materials.
Where to find it: Various stores throughout the area; to find the nearest, see skincando.com.
Stubble & ’Stache
Founded by Nicholas Karnaze, a former Marine, this men’s grooming line combines a philanthropic mission to support veterans with a dedication to naturally derived, high-quality products and, as Karnaze has said, a “James Bond meets ‘the Most Interesting Man in the World’ ” credo. The collection includes a duo of two-in-one products—a combination face moisturizer/beard conditioner with jojoba and argan oils, green-tea-leaf extract, chamomile, and vitamins, along with an energizing face and beard wash that contains aloe, eucalyptus, rosemary, and ginseng.
Where to find it: The Gentlemen’s Quarters (105 S. Union St., Alexandria; 703-836-7330), and stubbleandstache.com.
This article appears in the July 2014 issue of Washingtonian.
A pioneer in the organic movement, Nora Pouillon, 70, opened Restaurant Nora, in DC’s Dupont Circle, in 1979 after moving here from Austria. In 1999, it became the first certified organic restaurant in the United States. Pouillon also helped initiate the network of FreshFarm farmers markets and is active on a host of environmental and conservation boards and campaigns.
1. New Hues
“I love this lipstick. Dr. Hauschka is all-natural. He doesn’t use any synthetic preservatives or chemical fragrances, and he has great colors. I have like six different ones.” Dr. Hauschka lipstick, $23.99 at Whole Foods.
2. For the Best Brush
“I am not a big fan of fluoride. Tea-tree oil fights infection naturally and is good for your gums.” Desert Essence Natural Tea Tree Oil Toothpaste, $6.99 at Whole Foods.
3. Good as Gold
“Now that I am older, I need something a little stronger,” says Pouillon about Biodroga moisturizer, which isn’t 100 percent natural but is derived from botanical extracts and plant oils. “The all-around cream, Golden Caviar, is very good.” Biodroga Golden Caviar 24 Hour Care, $98 at biodrogausa.com.
4. Go Aloe
“Sandra Cope is in Alexandria, and her products are aloe-vera-based. She has very clean products. Unfortunately, she doesn’t use organic—she said she tried but it was too expensive—but they are very mild and effective. Step #1 is the cleanser I have been using for 10 or 15 years. It doesn’t sting your eyes, even if you have mascara on.” Sandra Cope Step #1 Cleansing Creme, $31 at sandracope.net.
5. To Dye For
“What I like about Naturtint is that it was the first hair color out there that didn’t use any ammonia or parabens or resorcinol. It doesn’t have a nasty smell, and I think it’s important to have a clean product because it’s close to my brain. I don’t want to put chemicals on my head. Also, if you have gray and white hair as I have, the color is absorbed differently, so people always ask me if I do highlights. I never do—it’s just the natural way of the color. It doesn’t look like my hair fell in a pot of color.” Naturtint hair color, $17.99 at Yes! Organic Market.
Comfort & Joy Wellness Spa
With vegan, nontoxic nail products by SpaRitual, it’s easy to get an all-natural manicure ($25 to $90)—including a long-lasting option comparable to Shellac—at this no-frills Fairfax spa. Ancient Indian rituals are also a speciality; a relaxing Ayurvedic facial ($115) employs aromatic essential oils and herbs to restore the skin’s balance. An extensive collection of natural and organic products available for purchase will catch your eye on the way out, too.
9514 Main St., Fairfax; 703-425-8800; comfortjoy.com.
The Emerald Door
Along with a luxe, modern interior made of “green” materials, spa services at the Emerald Door utilize toxin-free products. The brightening facial ($125), for example, incorporates organic lavender and local honey; you might spot yogurt, cranberries, jasmine oil, and other natural ingredients on the skin-care menu, while milk and honey steal the show for manis ($35) and pedis ($60).
8311 Grubb Rd., Silver Spring; 301-587-5800; emeralddoorsalon.com.
Juniper Eco Salon
The botanical-enriched hair dye is the biggest draw at this friendly Old Town salon, whose organic formula results in such bold and healthy-looking color that you’d never guess it’s ammonia- and paraben-free. Complimentary scalp massages with essential oils come with each shampoo, cut, and blow dry, and terrific eco-friendly brands such as Davines and Soma line the shelves.
632 N. Washington St., Alexandria; 703-549-9323; juniperecosalon.com.
Nectar Skin Bar
A healthy, natural-looking glow is what you’ll get with the Chocolate Sun sunless tan ($55 for full-body) at this chic Georgetown spa. The cool, velvety formula is made of water, sugar, and antioxidant-packed cocoa beans but is free of dihydroxyacetone—or DHA—the ingredient in typical spray tans that results in a chemical smell.
1633 Wisconsin Ave., NW; 202-333-4332; nectarskinbar.com.
The country’s first LEED Gold-certified spa, downtown DC’s Nusta is as kind to the environment as it is to the body. The only acids you’ll come across here are derived from citrus, such as those in the indulgent, ginger-lime-kombucha Enliven pedicure ($65) or the fruity, exfoliating Flash facial ($75). Massages ($105 to $185) and wraps ($110 to $205) involve organic oils and scrubs derived from sage, mint, coconut, and algae, leaving the skin smooth and nourished.
1129 20th St., NW; 202-530-5700; nustaspa.com.
This girly, New York hair-removal salon is a relative newcomer to our area, having opened its first Washington location just south of Dupont Circle last year. It’s best known for sugaring ($11 to $290), performed using an all-natural gel composed of lemon juice, sugar, water, and glycerin, making the service less painful and gentler on the skin than traditional waxing. Threading ($11 to $77) is also an option—and achieves ultra-precise results.
1730 M St., NW; 202-912-8455; myshobha.com.
Simply Bliss Salon
On a leafy street in DC’s Cathedral Heights, this hair salon is known for its top-notch treatments using minimal chemicals. It specializes in organic coloring ($90 to $135), using a formula that’s free of scalp-irritating ammonia, animal products, and plastics found in typical dyes. The Keratin treatments ($350 to $500) are performed using a mix with one of the lowest possible formaldehyde levels on the market.
400 Massachusetts Ave., NW; 202-462-0093; simplyblisssalondc.com.
Spa on the Hill
In a charming rowhouse two blocks from Capitol Hill’s Eastern Market, this quaint spa is known for its all-natural facials, including the Fire & Ice ($150), which promises that oxygen, plant-derived stem cells, and enzymatic botanicals will have a cooling, anti-aging effect. There’s also a slew of options for the body; the detoxifying mud treatment ($180) involves 90 minutes of massage and exfoliation using a mixture of oat, kelp, and green tea to stimulate and brighten the skin.
1007 E St., SE; 202-543-5950; spaonthehill.com.
The Spa at Mint
Brides flock to the spa at this high-end gym for its Whole Glow sunless-tanning service ($60 for full-body), an organic spray tan formulated with essential oils and botanicals. The 15-minute service is beloved by such eco-conscious A-listers as Jessica Alba, and a built-in dryer in the tanning equipment eliminates the need to wait before getting dressed.
1724 California St., NW; 202-328-6468; mintdc.com.
The Still Point
Using all-natural cosmetics brands such as Vapour, this Takoma Park spot is ideal for eco-conscious makeup services, such as brow and lash coloring ($15 and $25) that utilize vegetable dyes. Lycon, the maker of a well-known wax derived from natural resins and beeswax, is the brand of choice for hair removal here. Guests can enjoy drinks from Bethesda’s Puree juice bar to round out the holistic, natural experience offered in the spa’s beautiful space.
1 Columbia Ave., Takoma Park; 301-920-0801; stillpointmindandbody.com.
Tulsi Holistic Living
Seekers of all-natural pampering will appreciate the organic spa at this serene wellness center in Georgetown. Herbal masks and eco-friendly naturopathic mixes are used in facials ($105 to $145), while a body-scrub/massage combo ($95 to $135) features products derived from sugar and Dead Sea salts. Don’t miss the herb and flower garden out back—a tranquil setting to enjoy the herbal tea that Tulsi’s practitioners will offer while you wait for your appointment.
3325 M St., NW; 202-333-7025; tulsiliving.com.
Varuna Salon Spa
From hair-removal products derived from soy to water-based spray-tan formulas, there isn’t one service at this peaceful Annapolis spa that isn’t done with naturally derived products. Daylong packages ($150 to $395) featuring such luxe treatments as rosemary-mint body wraps and French-lavender aromatherapy massages are available; haircuts and blow-outs use organic products by Aveda.
1 Park Pl., Annapolis; 410-268-2828; varunasalonspa.com.
Wellspring Skin Care Clinic
Organic skin care is the expertise of this wellness center in Gaithersburg’s Kentlands whose owner, Li-Sann Mullings, has a medical background. The Bio Organic facial ($150) uses a seaweed-and-radish-root formula to calm and brighten dull skin, while shea butter is an ingredient in a variety of massages and body treatments—such as the exfoliating “back facial” ($135). Waxing ($13 to $93) involves skin-softening plant formulas.
309 Main St., Gaithersburg; 301-987-8140; wellspringskincareclinic.com.
This article appears in the July 2014 issue of Washingtonian.
Dressing for work in Washington’s summer humidity is hard enough—but for some women who aren’t the size two commonly seen on fashion blogs, finding office style inspiration can be even harder. Enter Curvy CEO, a DC blog that provides a haven for professional women on the hunt for work-appropriate clothes that celebrate their curves. Its founder, Kim (who prefers not to use her last name because of her day job), has been working on Capitol Hill for the past seven years and noticed a gap in the fashion landscape where plus-size styles were concerned. She launched her blog in 2011, and it now attracts more than 14,000 hits a month from readers who appreciate her frank and honest discussion about dressing for your profession and body type while also expressing personal style.
We talked with Kim about the common issues she and her readers face, favorite products to beat the heat, and local stores she loves.
What’s the main wardrobe problem you and your readers come across?
Finding things that are going to be appropriate as well as durable. The temptation is to throw the dress code out the window when the temperature goes up, but you still want to wear things that are office-appropriate, that have sleeves, and that are not going to get rumpled by the time you leave the office. I’m a big fan of layering. For instance, you might want to wear a sleeveless dress or top and then have a blazer or lightweight cardigan that you can slip on when you’re in the office. I’m a big fan of letting the clothes do the work for me, so I like to wear bright, cold colors or patterns. I also look for clothes that already have the embellishments as part of the design, or that have some sort of detail—a dress with a sweetheart neckline, maybe an accent around the waist, some sort of draping in the fabric—so that’s one less thing you have to do to make your outfit interesting.
Washington is notorious for its heat and humidity. How can a curvy girl dress to celebrate her figure but also give her body room to breathe?
I’m a big fan of items that are made from a mixture of natural fabrics and synthetics. By getting something that’s made of a more blended material, you’re going to be in a sturdy fabric, but it’s still lightweight.
There’s also this great accessory called Hot Girls Pearls: You keep them in the freezer, and then when you put them on they keep your neck cool. They’re great when you’re commuting, to help you get where you’re going.
The biggest barrier is probably your own self-confidence. Everybody’s hot, everybody’s sweating. If all else fails, don’t be ashamed.
Are there any products or tips you swear by to help curb the always-terrible thigh-chafing issue?
Spanx are your friend—not just for smoothing but also to prevent “chub rub.” Monistat makes a great product called chafing gel, which is a smooth gel that creates an almost powdery layer on your skin to prevent your legs from rubbing together. Sometimes I’ll use baby powder and add in some Love’s Baby Soft, a baby-powder scented perfume, so I smell great while staying cool.
What are your go-to stores for professional clothing for curvy women?
My top favorite is Macy’s. I love, love, love Dress Barn—it’s a professional woman’s dream, because almost anything in there you can wear to work. Nordstrom and Nordstrom Rack, JCPenney. If you are a size 18 and under, you can go to Ann Taylor. If you are a size 16 and under, you can fit into Banana Republic, the Limited, or White House Black Market.
How about everyday beauty essentials to curb sweat and keep makeup looking fresh?
You definitely want to stick with powders in the hot weather, because anything creamy is going to slide right off your face. Things with a little more powder will help absorb sweat. Lip and cheek stains are good; my favorites are from Benefit.
Finally, do you have a mantra that curvy girls should keep in mind when navigating the streets of DC?
Whatever you’ve got, make it look good. As a larger woman, you can command a presence in the room. You be as big as you are. Own your space. Stand full in that space.
1. Do your homework.
While the Food and Drug Administration doesn’t regulate a definition for the term “natural,” companies may use the word on labels only if it’s truthful and not misleading. Look carefully at ingredients.
“Do some investigating—find out what the company means when they say natural,” says Farah K. Ahmed of the Personal Care Council. If a product claims to be natural or naturally derived, the brand will typically go into more detail on its website regarding its approach, including whether that includes fair-trade practices, sustainable processes, and organic ingredients. You can also check for certification, such as a seal from groups like the Natural Products Association or Ecocert, or the USDA’s organic certification. Remember that a product may still be all-natural even if it doesn’t have a seal.
2. Start with the products that are on your skin longest.
If you don’t want to replace all your beauty products at once, start with body and face lotion, cosmetics, and deodorant.
“Think about what sits on your skin all day,” says Tara Foley, a Washington native who owns Follain, a natural-beauty store in Boston and Nantucket. “Your body wash and shampoo are important, but they’re on your skin for seconds and then go down the drain.”
3. Shopping for soap? Skip antibacterial versions.
Antibacterial soap usually contains the chemical triclosan, which advocacy groups say may be contaminating water supplies. “There’s also research that shows they may disrupt the thyroid,” says Heather White, executive director of the nonprofit Environmental Working Group (EWG). “And one of the concerns is that these chemicals can lead to antibiotic resistance.”
Bottom line: The FDA says plain soap and water are just as effective. If you need a hand sanitizer, try ethyl alcohol.
4. Avoid anything that includes the generic word “fragrance” in its ingredient list.
“It’s a catchall term for a chemical cocktail,” White says. The exact mix varies, and it’s often proprietary information, but tests commissioned by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics found an average of 14 chemicals in 17 name-brand fragrance products—none of which were listed on the labels. Frequently the combo includes diethyl phthalate, a controversial synthetic. One way around the issue: Buy scent-free when you can.
5. When picking a sunscreen, choose mineral and physical barriers instead of chemical ones.
Oxybenzone is a common chemical sunscreen filter that has been found in the bodies of almost all Americans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and some groups such as EWG voice concern that this chemical mimics estrogen and can possibly disrupt the hormone system. But that doesn’t mean you should skip sunscreen.
Instead try a sunscreen with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide—both mineral blockers that can’t easily penetrate the skin—and use such physical barriers as clothing, sunglasses, and hats.
6. On a tight budget? Look in your grocery aisles.
There are plenty of more affordable, single-ingredient, straight-from-nature items in the supermarket that can double as skin care.
“Cold-pressed coconut oil is an amazing low-cost product that you can use to cleanse, to take off makeup, to moisturize,” Foley says, citing one example. “And tea-tree oil is an antiseptic that’s great for anyone with acne or oil-prone skin.”
This article appears in the July 2014 issue of Washingtonian.
By day, Rachel Mlinarchik, 32, is director of development at CARE, a nonprofit that supports global poverty-fighting projects. By night, the Dupont Circle resident shares her stylish takes on sustainable fashion on her blog, My Fair Vanity, where she focuses on items that are made in the USA, fair-trade, handmade, or secondhand or that incorporate “upcyling” techniques.
1. Moisture Mask
“I use this mask year-round for chapped winter cheeks or when I’ve had too much fun in the sun. I sleep with a thin layer on and wake up with happy skin. I use several Origins facial products because they have natural, skin-soothing ingredients.” Origins Drink Up Intensive overnight mask, $24 at Origins.
2. Scent Story
“This small business churns out edgy, all-natural scents using only organic grape alcohol and essential oils. Walking into their store [in Hudson, New York], is to swoon with scent happiness, and I love knowing it’s unlikely anyone will be wearing what I’m wearing.” 2Note perfumes, $70 oil and $100 spray, at 2noteperfumery.com.
3. Two-in-One Scrub
“I hold this scrub above all others not just because of its organic ingredients but because it includes shea butter and coconut oil, which means I don’t need to use lotion after the shower. It’s also great for preventing ingrown hairs from waxing or shaving.” Deep Steep Sugar Scrub in grapefruit bergamot, $10.95 at deepsteep.com.
4. Oil and Water
“I’m obsessed with this oil. A few drops in the bath and my skin feels baby soft, plus I love the delicate scent.” TerraNova Shea Butter Soothing Touch Massage and Bath Oil, $22.35 at beautyencounter.com.
5. Matte Moment
“I love Tarte lip products because of their vibrant colors and because they’re formulated without parabens, mineral oil, phthalates, or sodium lauryl sulfates.” Tarte LipSurgence matte lip tints, $24 at Sephora.
6. Minty Clean
“I swear by Dr. Bronner’s liquid soap in peppermint. The peppermint oil gives a tingly, fresh feeling.” Dr. Bronner’s Castile Liquid Soap in peppermint, starting at $8.99 at Whole Foods.
This article appears in the July 2014 issue of Washingtonian.
This article appears in the July 2014 issue of Washingtonian.
Who: Leigh Heyman, 42
Director of New Media Technologies, Executive Office of the President
What I do: “I oversee the development and operations for the entire technical platform behind the White House’s online presence. This involves managing teams of developers and collaborating with the White House digital strategy team and communications staff on new ways to engage with the public online. Everything from new website features like the ‘We The People’ petitions site, to adding new social networking tools to our live video streams, to supporting major online events like Twitter Q&As with the President, the Vice President, or the First Lady.”
My work style: “As my career has evolved and my responsibilities have grown, I’ve toned down some of the bolder aspects of my style and I now try for a more restrained look that highlights the cut and fabric of my suits and ties. But that simplicity is by no means conservative or plain. In fact, I find it frees me up to focus on details like complex color-mixing and expressing subtle hints of personality through judicious use of accessories; I try to strike a balance between bold statement-making and the seriousness of the place I work.”
“Aside from my tuxedo, this suit is my favorite thing in my closet. I chose some classic style elements, such as the high-waisted, pleated trousers, specifically to offset the boldness of the lavender pinstripe and strike that balance of subtlety. I love that the suit’s ability to make a statement all on its own simplifies the selection of the rest of the outfit—I almost always pair it with a solid shirt and one of my quieter ties. It’s one of my most comfortable suits, so I’ll usually wear it when I know I’m going to have a long day.”
Kent Wang suit, Proper Cloth shirt, Tom Ford tie, Barney’s pocket square, English Laundry suspenders, Pantherella socks, Cole Haan shoes, Peter Lever cufflinks, Longines watch, Ted Baker bracelet, Ray-Ban sunglasses.
Style, Sips & Sweets at Fairfax Corner
The Fairfax Corner shopping district hosts its next Style, Sips & Sweets event this week, in which more than 12 boutiques and salons offer special discounts and sweet treats for one evening only. Score a gratis gift bag, in-store makeovers, and Champagne at Bluemercury, for one, while Belle Mode will serve chocolates and give 15 percent off storewide. The first 150 guests to check in at Undeniable Boutique will score a special cocktail; see the full list of participating shops online. Wednesday 6 to 9. Grand Commons Ave., Fairfax.
Americana Celebration at Goorin Bros.
In honor of Independence Day and the World Cup, the Georgetown outpost of this hatmaker celebrates all things American on Thursday. What to expect at the free event: the brand’s “American Made” collection on display, patriotic treats from the Pie Sisters and Green Hat, and live music by the Justin Trawick Group. Thursday 6 to 8. 1214 Wisconsin Ave., NW.
Hugh & Crye’s #MenswearTour
In the final leg of its Menswear Tour, which kicked off this spring, Georgetown-based shirting brand Hugh & Crye invites you to hang out with the team at its brand new office space at WeWork. Situated in the former Wonder Bread factory in Shaw, the industrial-modern workspace—home to other such startups as Worn Creative—boasts a terrace on the third floor, where the (free) event takes place. Enjoy the view of the city alongside drinks from Right Proper Brewing Co. and conversation with the stylish shirtmakers. An online RSVP is required. Friday 6 to 9. 641 S St., NW.
Relish’s Annual Summer Sale
The charming boutique earns our praises over neighboring sales for carrying some of the best in upscale womenswear: Dries van Noten, Marni, and Balenciaga are just a few of the powerhouse labels that will line the store’s Cady’s Alley shelves at major discounts for three straight days. All day Friday through Sunday. 3312 Cady’s Alley, NW.
#GlamourDateNight, Presented by Glamour
As part of its campaign to bring back the date, the fashion glossy stops in DC to help ease the stress of prepping for a romantic night out. To help ladies get ready for date night, the mag has arranged for deals at some of the area’s best primping spots: think perks at Drybar with the purchase of its Morning After kit, 20 percent off a new outfit from Piperlime, and deals on wine and cheese at local restaurants, just to name a few. See the full list of participating business online. All day Saturday. Multiple area locations.
StyleCable Trunk Show at Urban Chic
Local e-startup StyleCable goes brick-and-mortar for a week, popping up at Urban Chic’s Georgetown location beginning this weekend. Expect clothing and accessories by cool emerging labels—like geometric gems by Elaine B. Jewelry—at 15 percent off. The trunk show kicks off with refreshments in-store Sunday evening. All day Sunday through July 5. 1626 Wisconsin Ave., NW.
This past week has been one of the hottest DC has seen all year, which, along with the sweaty work commutes, means absolute disaster for hair and makeup. Luckily, we’ve got such beauty pros as Claire Ashley in town to help us get through these trying times. With 130,000 subscribers to her increasingly popular YouTube channel, which just celebrated its five-year anniversary, this self-trained makeup artist and vlogger knows her stuff. In the past, she’s helped us out with DIY bridal makeup and the hard-to-master summer glow, among other tricky beauty feats. In a special video tutorial made just for Shop Around, Ashley shows us how to acheive a gorgeous, glowy summer makeup look that lasts through hours of hot temps.