When it comes to natural, green beauty it seems as if there is an ever increasing demand. With that demand comes products that range from makeup to body oils to using bacteria that works with our own microbiome as a facial mist and/or deodorant (for those who dare). All of the new products and brands have made me extremely happy and eager to try them all! My skin has never looked better, felt better and I use less products overall. Conscious living is sexy, but so is great skin!
I wanted to share just one of the many brands that is absolutely amazing. The price is very friendly and the packaging accompanied by the tropical smells are just lovelyyyyyy.
Coming all the way from Kauai, Hawaii. The luxurious skincare lines consists of organic face masks, anti-aging serums and elixirs, cleansers and exfoliators made in intimate batches. Leahlani has quite a few items that are my beauty staples. Two items that I use daily are the Bless Beauty Balm and Bohemian Ruby Balancing Toner. The Bless Beauty Balm is super nourishing to my skin with ingredients like argan oil, shea butter and cocoa butter. I use beauty balm at night and sometimes during the day for extra moisture. The intoxicating scent of blue tansy will leave you hooked. I always mix the balm with the toning mist for a skin cocktail that leaves you hydrated. The toning mist puts nutrients back into your skin because we are so far past the days of stripping, alcohol toners. Hydrated, calm and dewy skin are the results. The mermaid mask happens to be my absolute favorite mask out there. I use 2-3x/week. Call this a super food for your face! The smell, the texture, the way my skin looks and feels after...amazing. Leave your house bare faced with a sense of confidence that comes from glowing, dewy skin.
I contacted Leah because I found her story interesting and wanted to share it with you. She was so sweet to take the time out of her busy day of running a skincare line to give real, honest answers about what Leahlani as a brand means to her and what we can expect from the brand in the future.
Q. First off, your skincare line is wonderful and your instagram is a gorgeous capture of it! How did you get started on the journey as Leahlani?
Leahlani is more of a personal journey that started 11 years ago. My skin and my health were deteriorated. I was on bed rest for a month, and while browsing the internet, I stumbled upon a holistic esthetician school with an emphasis for healing. It was one of those moments in life that happen when you just know you are supposed to do something. Within a couple of months, my boyfriend and I sold everything and hopped islands from Oahu to Maui to be able to attend this school. My education there transformed my life, and even 11 years later, I am still unraveling all of the factors that led me there. I would go on to become a dually licensed holistic esthetician in CA and HI, run my own private esthetician practice, became a Spa Director at the Hilton Spa on Kauai and begin dabbling in formulating my own line of skincare. Leahlani was formulated for my own personal use, and for my clients. I healed my own cystic acne and truly fell in love with the alchemy of Leahlani. I reached a point where I knew I could no longer be both Spa Director and continue formulating my own skincare line. Ultimately, I chose Leahlani. Our growth as a company has been 100% organic, and I have such a beautiful vision for Leahlani that I cannot wait to share.
Q. Was there a moment that you knew you wanted to create a skincare line? Which is now sold in many stores all over the world! What an amazing accomplishment!
I feel like the past five years has flown by so fast. I loved being an esthetician. I would go home every single day with such gratitude and passion for my craft. Honestly, at the time I could never see myself doing anything different. I loved the connection I had with my clients, the exchange of energy and seeing the sense of peace on their face after their service. My desire to create a skincare line came when I realized I would love to be able to bottle up that feeling that everyone had who booked a service with me. It needed to be shared beyond my esthetician room. I talk a lot about intention because once I implemented intention into my life, everything changed. I wanted to create products that were infused with aloha, with the intention of slowing down and allowing for a deeper connection with the products you are using on your skin. Products that are bursting with vibrance and life, where every step of their use is a celebration for the senses. I set the intention to create a line of skincare that would transform a 'routine' into a 'ritual' and I believe I have accomplished that with Leahlani.
Q. How did the name Leahlani come about?
My husband, Oliver, came up with it. I had started to sell my products at the local Hanalei Farmers Market (we are still there every Saturday) as a way to meet people and gain potential clients for my esthetician practice. I could not think of a name when my husband suggest “Leahlani.” Lani means 'heaven' in Hawaiian and Oliver always said I was in heaven when I was formulating my products. The name just stuck because Leahlani is my happy place, my heaven.
Q. What are your personal favorite items within your skin care line?
Truthfully, my personal favorites tend to change throughout the year. Currently, I cannot live without Aloha Ambrosia Elixir in the AM. I love her feather light texture and how she absorbs like a dream. The elixir also makes for the perfect primer under makeup.
I LOVE Mahina Elixir at night, layered with Bless Beauty Balm. This is the most magical combination of products. They live on my bedside dresser and applying them is always the last thing I do before falling asleep each night. And of course, I will never go without the *Honey Love Exfoliator 3-in-1. She keeps my skin clear and vibrant and never disappoints.
*Editor’s note: My personal favorite as well!
Q. Any that you use on a daily basis?
My skincare ritual is pretty extensive. I love starting the morning by massaging Bless Beauty Balm into my skin and stepping into a hot, steamy shower. I love how the rich butters and nutrient dense oils melt into my skin. The smell of orange blossoms and blue tansy mixed with the steam is worldly. I then remove the balm with a warm cotton washcloth and apply my morning mask. I love using Meli GLOW Nectar Mask in the mornings. I apply her and then make my coffee because I am the ultimate multi-masker! Then, it is a simple rinse and mist with Bohemian Ruby Toning Mist. Lastly, I apply Aloha Ambrosia Elixir before putting on my makeup.
In the evenings, I do a double cleanse. First, a gentle cleanse with Bless Beauty Balm to remove all makeup followed by applying Kalima Coconut Cream Cleanser. I let Kalima dry on my skin before rinsing as this allows her water activated vitamin C to work its magic on my skin while the softening clays help pull oil and debris from the pores. I follow with Citrus and Citrine toner, a pump of Mahina Elixir followed by gently patting Bless Beauty Balm into my face, neck and decollate. I alternate masking throughout the week. Of course, Mondays are always for Mermaid Mask! The rest of the week I go by what my skin tends to need.
Q. Where do you source your ingredients? And do you find it challenging to source from the islands?
Our ingredients come from all around the world. Sourcing from the Islands can be challenging at times, but we have been lucky to always get what we need from all of the Islands. What we cannot find on Kauai, we can find on the Big Island or the other outer islands.
Q. I love that you provide your products in glasses! It gives a sense of luxury without breaking the bank. What made you decide glass over plastic?
It was always our vision, but I wanted something different. It took me about a year and a half to find our packaging. We started out by using plastic, and it was always my dream to transition into glass. I was looking for something unique and authentic to Leahlani. After what seemed like forever I finally found it! My absolute favorite color combo is sea foam green and gold, and I was determined to bring that into fruition with Leahlani. Our watercolored labels were actually created by my sweet sister. One night while sitting at a table full of watercolor paints, she was able to create. She managed to create branding that embodies the spirit and essence of Leahlani, and for that, I am forever grateful. She is also on the island creating something new for us that we cannot wait to share!
Q. Do you have plans to create a travel kit? (Aloooohaaa!)
We do! We have been working on it for months
Q. Any upcoming additions to your skincare line that you are looking to add? Perhaps...a body butter as blissful as the Bless Beauty Balm?
Oh yes, we have many new additions that will be joining the line! One of them in particular I am extremely excited about. I have been using it personally for about six months. It is nearly impossible for me to keep it a secret much longer! It is also a product I have had the most requests to make. Every single thing about this new product is amazing, from the name, to the results. With that, I am hoping I can exceed expectations.
Q. Lastly, what are three things that are important to you from a brand owner/consumer/mermaid perspective when it comes to skincare?
Hmmm... good question! With Leahlani, there are so many unique ways to use our entire line. Aloha Alchemy rituals are one of my absolute favorite things. Leahlani was made to create these gorgeous rituals. That being said, learning how to use the products correctly is super important. I try to use my Instagram in a way where I can share tips and tricks. I want to help everyone learn all of the unique and magical ways to create their own aloha alchemy rituals for the best results possible.
It is also important to make sure to carve out time in your day for self-care. I was not raised with this mind set, so it took me years to fall into a rhythm of learning not only how to care for myself, but also learning how important this truly is. I used to be quickly wash my face and ultimately rushing through any sort of skincare routine that I had. When I went to an incredible holistic esthetician school I was able to learn more than I could have ever imagined about the importance of self care, and the value of intention. Turning a routine into a ritual is life changing. Do little things for yourself by enjoying your favorite cup of tea and reading your favorite book or blog when masking. Enjoy every second and melt into the moment!
Lastly, and one of the most important things I can think of, is change the dialogue you have with yourself when you look in the mirror. Most clients that lay on my table for a facial would always say things like:
"Im so sorry my eyebrows are so bushy”
"Please forgive my huge pimple on my forehead”
"Im sorry my skin is so awful”
It broke my heart! The very first thing I would do is turn down the lights and place my hands on their face to start with an intention prayer. When you touch your face, do so with kindness, love and compassion. I want everyone to become inspired to care for their skin by setting the intention for healing. This changes everything.
In the making of this Q&A, I have now purchased every item Leah has mentioned! I love how genuine her answers are, and definitely look forward to the new product. We can all take a lesson in skin shaming these days. And props to her husband for coming up the name!