I discovered Herbivore Botanicals in the most celestial way. An article about essential oils for your zodiac sign convinced me that an Aquarius like me needed neroli, from the blossom of the bitter orange, in my life. Granted, I had no idea what it smelled like, but who was I to question an essential oils horoscope?!
While perusing Sephora's website, the clean, minimalist look of a bottle of Herbivore's Citrine Body Oil caught my eye first—and then I saw that it happened to be scented with neroli. Here, just take my money, Sephora. Luckily, once I received my bottle of Citrine (named after the crystal), it actually did smell lovely, but a peachy note was more prominent than the neroli. Little did I know, my newfound neroli obsession was just a stepping stone.
As a vegan, I naturally gravitated to Herbivore's plant-based ethos—meaning not only are they a cruelty-free company, but also they use the power of plants to conjure up luxurious yet simple formulas that work. The husband-and-wife team behind it all crafted the recipes in their own kitchen. My first bottle of Citrine consisted of pure plant oils and no fillers whatsoever. The same goes for ALL of their products.
Their Orchid Facial Oil, Jasmine Body Oil and Jasmine Hair Perfume Mist were the real game changers for me. In one whiff, each transported me to a childhood memory of stringing together leis of sampaguita (a type of jasmine common in the Philippines, where I'm from) with my mother and her friends. Herbivore managed to bottle the purest incarnation of jasmine fragrance I've ever smelled. It was clear to me then that my essential oil horoscope was wrong, but the universe had still led me to what I was meant to discover.
The beauty of Herbivore Botanicals is that they're about more than just face, body and hair. They also weave in mystical elements like tarot and crystals into their curated selection of goods offered alongside their own products. They even make a brightening mask with Brazilian tourmaline in it, plus jade and rose quartz facial rollers to infuse a little crystal love and ritual into your skincare routine. Talk about holistic.
Here's what else Herbivore has to offer, including my absolute faves.
Blue Tansy AHA + BHA Resurfacing Clarity Mask is probably one of their most hyped products. The blue hue is definitely striking in the jar (it goes on pretty much clear though), and the scent is so invigorating; kind of herbal and medicinal in the best way possible. Seriously, it smells so wonderful while it's on, and it even lingers on the skin after you wash it off. Powered by anti-inflammatory blue tansy, this mask has been known to have dramatic effects in clarifying pores and clearing acne and redness fast for some people, but for me the results were more subtle. I want to be into masks with gel-like consistencies, since clay masks require a little more effort to wash off; but the latter just tend to work better for my skin. The Blue Clay Spot Treatment Mask is a detoxifying dream, and the Pink Clay Mask is super softening and truly reveals tighter, brighter skin.
Hot tip: Herbivore regularly offers deluxe-sized samples as gifts with purchase (usually no minimum). I'm waiting for my free Brighten Pineapple + Gemstone Mask as we speak. Better sign up for those emails!
Face Mist and Toner
You've got two options for a mist or toner step in your regimen: Rose Hibiscus Hydrating Face Mist or Jasmine Green Tea Balancing Toner. With coconut water as the base, Rose Hibiscus is really hydrating—so much so that some people might not even need moisturizer afterwards. Since I have oily skin, it was a little much for me, but my friends with dry skin are obsessed. The Jasmine Green Tea is more my jam. First off, it's distilled from thousands of jasmine petals! Second, it helps balance out my oil production. And I love that it's a mist situation rather than a traditional toner that you apply with a cotton pad. Always love saving a cotton pad (for environmental reasons).
Herbivore's trio of divine facial oils offers something for everyone. I've tried all three, and they're all special. Lapis balances oily, acne-prone skin and calms inflammation. It sinks in nicely and smells just as intoxicating as its partner in crime, the blue tansy mask; use them together for an anti-acne one-two punch. Phoenix is the most highly moisturizing and is especially formulated for anti-aging. It's rich in omega fatty acids to plump skin, and CoQ10 to regenerate skin cells and boost collagen production. And of course, my fave is Orchid, which has camellia flower oil (also known as tsubaki oil) to amp up radiance. Full disclosure, I also use this as a perfume—I can't stress enough how heavenly it smells!
I haven't tried the full range of products, but trust, I'm working my way there. The clay soaps (for face and body) and bath salts make your beauty and self-care routine complete. While you're at it, pick up some crystal clusters and Atmosphere Mist. Because everyone could use a little magic in their lives (and in their skin care).