Introducing Peace Beauty London | Artisan Skincare Boutique

14 Jul 2015

It's always exciting when a new green skincare brand pops up on my radar, but I am especially excited about a new discovery of mine; Peace.

The online boutique was founded by Huma, a mother of two and writer, who aims to offer a simple, edited selection of beautiful artisan skincare. Peace offers a small yet exciting array of brands including AS.AP, Balmology, Nathalie Bond, Honest and Natural Deodorant Co. Huma wanted to keep the selection small and choose only UK brands as she believes less is more, and that this is the only way your skin will get the attention and quality of ingredients that it deserves. I couldn't agree more! I have had the wonderful pleasure of interviewing Huma about the boutique;

What inspired you to create Peace Beauty London and start using more natural & organic products? Why do you believe it is important to use natural/organic and sustainably produced products?
I first started switching to organic products last year and have now replaced everything from skincare and make-up to baby products and cleaning goods with natural, chemical-free alternatives. I have always ​loved shopping for beauty & skincare products & was always keen to try a new luxury big budget serum or miracle eye cream. But then last year my skin became irritated where I'd never suffered before and I developed a persistent red patch on one cheek. It started shortly after I had spent a small fortune on a serum dubbed a beauty must-have. But I did the worst thing I could have done and threw product after product at it. My face suffered more and though it sounds vain, it really got me down. While searching for online advice, I stumbled upon the green beauty blog Genuine Glow. I didn't realise it was a green blog at first, but she'd written a post about stripping down her routine to a simple set of basics using only kind products and not overloading her skin with products. It really resonated with me, and I began to finally appreciate how I hadn't been treating my skin properly despite using fancy things which claimed to work wonders. That's when I first began reading and researching about ingredients. The more I read, the more I became convinced that small-batch skincare would care for my skin more than anything mainstream. But at the same time, I found the process of detoxing a little overwhelming with so many brands to choose from​ - I didn't really know where to start, so it was trial and error for a while. ​And that's when ​I came up with ​the concept of peace, ​the idea of creating a curated collection of beautiful, effective and simple ​products to choose from​.

What is the main reason behind choosing only UK based, small artisan brands? How did you go about choosing the brands that are featured on the site?
My reason for selecting artisan small-batch brands is that I prefer using products which are made by hand with a set of simple ingredients wherever possible; less is more, especially when you think of how much your skin absorbs. I feel better using these products than something mass produced with a ton of preservatives in it. Since I switched to organic small batch skincare, the irritation I had suffered from has faded away, with just a few faint marks now which are healing every day thanks to some amazing cold-pressed rosehip seed oil. I like the idea of being able to know where my products have come from and where the ingredients have been grown, for instance. And since I've switched over to more natural things, I've also felt like I don't want to follow the more mainstream choices like I did before. There's something special about using a product which is unique and not like everything else on the market. While searching for natural replacements for my own use, I kept discovering the most beautiful sounding products online but then invariably they'd all be US based (where small batch skincare is still niche but not as much as it is here) and the shipping costs were prohibitive. I thought there must be people making similar products in the UK, so set about searching for them. I ended up choosing the brands I stock quite simply because they are all brands that I have used and they've all helped my skin recover - and I think they're all a lovely set of truly effective natural products that, most importantly, deliver results.

Do you have any advice for those who are looking to approach a more organic lifestyle/beauty routine?
My advice is to read and educate yourself about the choices available to you. Don't just follow the crowd. Sometimes people think those of us who choose to shop organic are wasting money and being conned, but if it works for you and makes you genuinely feel better inside and out, don't worry about the judgement! Do what feels right. Also, from a skincare perspective, I'd say that it's not always enough just to switch to a natural beauty routine. It's been said before, but the best thing you can do for your skin is to think about what you are putting inside you as well as on you! My family and I have turned our eating habits around. We've ditched the coffee maker for a juicer, and have mostly cut out sugar from our vegetarian diet and eat lots of healthy fats loaded with antioxidants and nutrients. As well as being a healthier choice overall, I'm all pretty sure this has contributed to my skin feeling and looking better too which is a nice bonus!

What is your favourite product from the website?
It's hard to choose just one, but at the moment I'm besotted with the Lavender & Chamomile Body Oil by Nathalie Bond Organics. I love using it at the end of the day after a shower and before bed. It's the most heavenly, relaxing natural scent and the oil feels luxuriously thick and moisturising. I recently gave birth to my second baby boy, and this oil was amazing for pre-labour massage too!

Do you have any future plans to include more brands on the site?
Yes I do have plans to include more brands. Peace is a curated and edited collection of skincare products, so a lot of thought goes into which brands to stock. I only ever stock brands that fit in with the peace ethos, after I've tried and tested them. The range will grow, but slowly and steadily. I'm quite sensitive to scents, so in the future I am looking to add a selection of natural candles and I'm on the hunt for exquisite independent small batch natural perfume too. I also plan to collaborate with artisans to develop products exclusively for peace, under the peace name. Meanwhile, there will be two new brands joining the site in the next few months. I'm really excited about them because I've loved using their products (a few of them have become daily favourites). The first brand shares my ethos and has a very small, simple and minimalistic range which is utterly lovely. The second brand has universal appeal. Some of their products are unisex and are gentle enough to use on babies and children too. Plus it's a relatively affordable range, so hopefully it will make organic skincare a realistic choice for those who find organic can often be more expensive.

Huma very kindly sent me a goody box filled with beautiful artisan skincare that is featured on the website so I could get a feel for the brand. First of all, how gorgeous is the packaging?! You can tell that Huma has put a lot of hard work and effort into making everything look wonderful, from the box to the bow and even the website is minimalist and eco-chic.


Inside the box is a beautiful selection of products from the artisan brands wrapped with recyclable shredded paper. I received Huma's favourite which she mentioned in the interview; Nathalie Bond Organics Lavender & Chamomile Body Oil which does smell heavenly and I can't wait to use this in the evenings before bed to help me relax into a deep slumber. Nathalie Bond Organics was created when Nathalie herself was pregnant with her first child. She began making natural balms and soaps for herself using only natural ingredients when she realised her favourite products weren't quite as natural as she had thought. She now runs Nathalie Bond Organics with her husband and together they handcraft body oils, scrubs and balms in a small factory close to the Peak District National Park.

Moving onto two products from AS.AP, a brand founded by Amanda Saurin who has had over 30 years experience in working with herbs and homeopathy. All of her products are created in a traditional apothecary workshop after the ingredients have been hand sown and picked at their organic farm in Sussex. I received Cleansing Oil #5 which is Soothing & Restorative and includes a beautiful selection of oils like calendula, jojoba, borage, and essential oils of rose, bergamot labdanum and clary sage. Huma also sent me a Cleansing Cloth #1 which can be used to remove the oil after cleansing. It is made with pure cotton and is hand crocheted. It is very soft but because of the way it has been made, it is thicker than a normal muslin cloth so it offers a gentle exfoliation at the same time as removing the cleansing oil.

A new brand to the green beauty world is this deodorant from The Natural Deodorant Co. I've actually been following the owner Laurie, on Twitter & Instagram for a couple of years now so it's lovely to see her opening her own business with this deodorant. It has bicarbonate of soda to keep odour at bay, whilst coconut oil and shea butter help to moisturise your underarms & keep them feeling fresh.

The last but certainly not the least is this Comfort Balm from Balmology. The brand was launched in 2011 by Catherine Lewis in a small workshop on a Gloucestershire farm. I have tried her products before and I am a huge fan of their Cleanse Balm. This balm is aimed at those who have very dry, inflamed skin or eczema as it has very soothing and nourishing ingredients like chamomile, calendula and lavender.

One of the things I love the most about Peace is that on every product page, you can find information about the artisan brand owner, directions on how to use the product as well as a full ingredients list. With more and more brands popping up everyday selling "natural" skincare, it's lovely to see you can find everything all in one place on Peace.

Delivery in the UK is just £3.50 or free if you spend over £50.00. International delivery is available too, to Europe for £5 and delivery to the US, Canada, Australia & NZ is just £10.00.

Find them on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and on their Website.

Huma has very kindly provided me with a 10% discount code for you all to use on your orders. Use code "AMBER" up until 14th August 2015 for 10% off.

Amber

*This post is sponsored by Peace. This in no way affects my opinion on the brand or the products. The box was sent to me however I am 100% honest with my opinions, as always.
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