Natural, Multi Purpose Beauty From L’Officine Universelle Buly

We’re still seeing a huge amount of ‘natural’ beauty products at press days and launches, the next trend is going to be products so natural you wont know wether to put them on your face or spread them on your toast (gluten free, vegan butter, obvs). Some feel a bit band-wagonish, but some are utterly fabulous and worth hunting out.

I have an absolute beauty-crush on the luxury natural beauty brand L’Officine Universelle Buly 1803, mostly because of the uber-cool French co owner Victoire de Taillac-Touhame and her philosophy of using the best natural products she can find. I also like that this brand is quite under-the-radar, so I feel it’s like my special secret. The brand also presents its quite complex collection with thoughtful attention to the decorative (check out the store interiors to see what I mean).

Victoire does things differently from other beauty entrepreneurs, she’s just launched 100 new products into an already extensive collection (for example, the brand makes 103 hair combs and also offers a soap engraving service), creating a sort of up market, eccentric luxury health apothecary.

There’s a touch of Harry Potter about the powders, potions and lotions she offers, such as the fermented coconut grains, which mixes beautifully with your shower gel or soap to create a gentle exfoliator. The fermentation process helps bring out the active minerals and when mixed with honey makes a spectacular skin softener. I’ve been using this mixed with my normal (L’Occitane Almond Oil) shower gel and it is very effective, without the brutal scraping of many ready mixed exfoliators.

If you are suffering from sunburnt skin currently, you might need a drop of Dragon’s Blood, extracted from the red-sapped, Amazon-grown, Croton lechleri tree, and a renowned skin repairer. A read of the brand’s extensive catalogue leaves you more knowledgeable about the active wonder of plants and what they can do and gives you an idea of how seriously Buly is committed to its research.

According to Victoire, Buly is all about searching for the ultimate in ingredients, hence its high price point. The coconut powder for example, is made by hand and to order on The Ivory Coast because, after extensive travels, it’s the absolute best Victoire and her product director Berenice Clerc could find. The magnesium used in the Transcutaneous Magnesium lotion – a wonderful skin softener-  is mined from seabeds buried two kilometres down off the coast of Holland. We’re talking dedicated product research here, it’s not just fashion that’s asking ‘where does this come from and who made it’ of its product, beauty is doing it too. All the active products have a best-by date, because chemical preservatives are not used.

I have become a fan of the Ionised Cleansing Water No 1 (top image), which is very good for mature skin. It contains a gentle geranium extract, an anti oxidant, to regulate the skin’s positive and negative ions, silver, which helps purify and mend scar tissue and traces of gold to add radiance. I can tell you after a week or two of trialling that it’s deliciously cooling and softens my skin in a manner I don’t get from other cleansers. As a summer cleanser, it’s a treat to use, so I’ve put away my hot cloths during this steamy weather and I’m using this morning and night. It even removes make up very efficiently, which is pleasantly surprising.

The Marshmallow powder turns to a gel like consistency when you add water and it is a soother, so ideal to pack (it’s light and wont leak, ideal for carry-on) if you’re off to sunny climes or have redness from pre-holiday waxing waxing. Like many Buly products, it’s multi functional and doubles up as an insect bite soother and hair conditioner when you add a touch of camelia oil.

Check the website to discover the full range of product, some items are available on line at Selfridges, or if you’re in Paris, Tokyo, Hong Kong or Korea, check out its stores, they are ridiculously pretty.


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