5 Local Beauty Brands to Shop Now

Homegrown brands whose products have natural appeal.

Photographs by Jeff Elkins

Lilikoi Living

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:

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

Waxing Kara

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


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

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

This article appears in the July 2014 issue of Washingtonian.