Luxury body oils, natural perfume, organic lipgloss…do we have your attention? Spirit Beauty Lounge had our attention from the get-go, as soon as we clicked our way into their gorgeous online shop! If you love green beauty products as much as we do, you’ve probably spent as much time as we have searching aisles, reading labels and scouring department stores for the cleanest, greenest products you can find! Our search became a whole lot simpler – and far more stylish – when we found Spirit Beauty Lounge and their gorgeous merchandise. Stuffed with organic luxuries, we’re in love with SBL and may need an intervention to get this new shopping obsession under control. We were all too happy to meet with founder, Spirit Demerson to find out how the woman behind all this beauty got her start and created the shop all of us are going gaga for!
The Chalkboard: most of our favorite natural beauty products are hidden in the mix of other ‘conventional’ brands. How did your vision for a one-stop natural beauty shop come to be?Spirit Demerson: Actually most of our favorite natural beauty brands didn’t even exist when Spirit Beauty Lounge started. I longed for a place where all of the products were as green and clean as they were effective and beautiful. Where all of the products were already filtered down to only the purest and best, and that place didn’t exist – so I created it! It’s a “virtual candy store” of natural & organic beauty.
TC: What positive changes have you witnesses in the beauty industry of late? Any changes you’d really love to see?
SD: There’s been such a shift in how new products are formulated. Women are more educated about ingredients and products are being reformulated to consumer’s demands, rather than being marketed at consumers. It’s amazing to see a company like P&G start reformulating decades-old formulas to meet women’s demands for safer products.
What’s too common though is that the ingredients which replace the ones we’re trying to avoid are sometimes worse than what they’re replacing, and just don’t have as bad a reputation yet.
TC: Are there any easy rules when it comes to avoiding potentially toxic products?
SD: If it were easy to figure it all out, we probably wouldn’t need a Spirit Beauty Lounge! I read countless MSDS, research study extracts, trade papers & interview chemists and formulators on a constant basis to try to have the most holistic, fair & educated perspective in choosing the products we will sell. When all that is done, I’m still making sure the products work – and work well! It’s overwhelming – and the average woman can’t possibly have time to do all the research – you have to find a source you trust, and be as educated as you can. Barring that, I always say, when in doubt, stick to products you could eat – a little coconut oil goes a long way!
TC: What are your best tips for reading labels?
SD: Some of the most misleading labeling issues to be aware of are:
1. Always read the complete ingredients, not the “labels”- words like “natural” and “organic” might be all over the front of the bottle –but that doesn’t mean it’s what’s inside.
2. Just because something is “paraben-free” doesn’t mean it’s non-toxic or natural. In fact, phenoxyethanol, which has widely replaced parabens, is considered by many chemists to be much more toxic and potentially hazardous than parabens.
3. Conversely, just because something doesn’t sound natural, doesn’t mean it isn’t. The correct labeling for sea salt, for example, is “Sodium Chloride” or coconut oil “Caprylic Triglyceride”.
TC: What was the first beauty product you ever bought for yourself?
SD: My dad actually kept me well stocked with natural skin care remedies until I was old enough to discover Wet n Wild. Before I was allowed to even wear it in public, I had a whole Caboodles makeup kit full of Wet n Wild lipsticks and pencils – which I’d buy 99 cents at a time. By the time I was 12, that Caboodles had grown into an entire linen closet full of products. My friends would come over and “shop” my beauty closet.
TC: Top 3 products of all time:
SD: This is the impossible question for a beauty product junkie like myself – and my answer could change on any given day – but I’d say three products I could never stop using, since the day I first used them, are my Tata Harper Hydrating Floral Essence, my RMS Beauty Living Luminizer, and my Soapwalla Kitchen Deodorant Cream. All three have sort of changed my life in one way or another. I’d never want to be without them.
TC: New product or brand you’re most excited about?
SD: May Lindstrom Skin –the whole little line is absolutely brilliant but The Clean Dirt cleanser is the HG of facial cleansers for me. It may sound crazy but just looking forward to using this cleanser actually gets me out of bed on lazy mornings!
TC: What is your personal signature look?
SD: I’ve been wearing the same singular magenta shade of nail polish since I was 15 (when my hair was the same color!). Different brands, but always the same color. My sister teases me for it but I think it’s good to have a beauty signature – as long as it’s not a hairstyle!
TC: Any favorite DIY tips or tricks?
SD:Dry brushing is a favorite trick – all the expensive anti-cellulite & stretch mark creams in the world won’t have the same toning effect on the skin, especially the thighs, that a commitment to daily dry brushing will give you. Dry brushing eliminates lizard skin, helps prevent cellulite, stimulates blood flow, lymph drainage & more… and it costs almost nothing but an extra 5-10 minutes of your time every day.
Check out more of Spirit’s favorites at the gorgeous Spirit Beauty Lounge site and stay tuned for more of our favorite SBL picks on The Chalkboard soon!