The Whole Fruit & Nothing But The Whole Fruit: Essentique - A Naturally Different Beauty Care Experience
It doesn’t take much longer than a brief glance at Mandana, the Founder of Essentique, before you realize that whatever she’s doing with her hair - we all need to diligently copy.
Referred to reach out to this plant-derived and artisanal beauty company by a dear friend of mine in Newport Beach, I had the pleasure of hopping on a Skype call with the the beauty and brains behind the operation (wait, but did I mention her hair?!).
While Essentique hasn’t been on the “market” for long, the handcrafted product blends have been a lifetime in the making. It all started with Mandana wanted to dye her hair as a teen - something that wasn’t exactly going to fly with her conservative Iranian parents! So she took it upon herself to create a naturally powerful concoction of camomile and apple tree leaves (apparently, the key is to use the leaves!). Guess what? It worked. And so the start of her handcrafted natural body and beauty care empire began…
Not so much as a “business” per say, but more so a hobby, and as well-appreciated gifts for friends and family.
Finally, in 2016, Mandana decided to follow her heart and passion around holistic beauty - bringing life to what is now fabulously named: Essentique.
It’s (unfortunately) a rare find → natural meets powerful.
I jokingly mentioned that beauty care that’s “natural” tends to be...a little on the “not so powerful side”. Mandana laughed and assured me that each and every one of her items works powerfully - in different ways, ultimately for different goals.
For instance, a powerful clarifier like For-bitten may be what you need if you’re suffering from an oily and irritated scalp, but for a lighter - yet just as effective - treatment, the Blue Lotus infused Euphoric may be the answer to your best hair daydreams.
The secret? It’s in the fruit. The whole fruit and nothing but the fruit.
Mandana is clearly passionately IN LOVE with fruits, and isn’t afraid to admit it - or use the ENTIRE fruit in her recipes. That’s exactly what she claims brings about the true transformational power in her products. It’s not just a bit of extract here, a dash of peel there - she’s all about taking advantage of what the whole fruit has to offer. For instance, guava for its exceptional conditioning benefits, or turmeric for its antibacterial properties - even watermelon as a natural moisturizer!
Now the question on everyone’s mind: What do I get for that fed-up & stressed-out sorry soul in my life?
Okay, maybe your description of your hustling entrepreneurial friends isn’t as bleak as mine (sorry!). Regardless, there’s something extra divine about receiving a gift set of beauty products handmade in small batches, using only the finest natural and plant-derived ingredients, straight out of Palo Alto, California. If that doesn’t lift their spirits, they’re going to need a WHOLE LOTTA yoga!
For the ultimate luxurious treat, Mandana suggests her Luminescence exfoliator - a hand and body polish that her customers keep coming back for - to use in more ways than one. In fact, most of her friends swear by it as a scrub so gentle yet effective...they use it on their faces! What makes it so special? Well, apart from the classy branding and glorious gift box it comes in - the ingredients feature something quite different than you’d otherwise expect: no salt, no sugar.
So, what’s the 'scrub' element, then?
None other than walnut shell powder - I mean, there’s a reason this company gets me excited people! It’s a soft, effective abrasive that is natural, non-toxic, and biodegradable. If that’s not enough to get you squealing for joy, Luminescence also contains banana pulp powder, argan oil, and turmeric.
What makes Essentique “Vegan”?
While I’m not strictly vegan myself, I was curious to know why Mandana stressed that all of her products are made from exclusively plant-derived and not synthetic sources. Wait, aren’t all “beauty care” products normally “vegan”...isn’t this like saying Green Tea is gluten-free and dairy-free or something?!
I was surprised to discover that there could indeed be animal products lurking in your bathroom cupboards! Weird. If you’re looking to follow a pure plant-based lifestyle, you need to watch out for things like keratin and collagen.
Not to worry, Essentique products use exclusively plant-based keratin and collagen sources, as well as a Vegan silk protein - even the Vitamin D in Soma (a line of divine smelling body oils) contains no animal products. Mandana shared that it is really hard to find vegan Vitamin D, but she discovered a company that makes them as supplements - so she literally cracks the pills and blends them into Soma!
Furthermore, many of the ingredients used in Essentique products are so natural and safe, they are food grade! There you have it: the ‘Mindfully Edible’ tie-in you were waiting for ;)
So whether you’re planning on treating a friend, impressing your significant other, or just plain pampering yourself - I solemnly declare that Essentique is the extravagant choice you won’t regret...
Update! I've been treating myself to some epic self-care regimes made all the better with Essentique products this past month, and let's just say: I get it now. There's no questioning that Mandana was NOT exaggerating when she said that all of her customers are indeed repeat devotees.
The Dew Be Dew hair wash has been an absolute treat for my thin curly hair - I asked for it to be made with Sandalwood essential oil and it's literally a 5 start SPA in my bathroom every time I take a shower and wash my hair! It's conditioning but at the same time doesn't have that heavy weighed down feeling I tend to get if I over moisturize - it's ACTUALLY volumizing. I always thought that term (when used in haircare marketing at least) was a gimmicky. I'm now a believer.
After washing my hair, I Butter Up. Seriously, it's just hard not to eat this stuff - but my locks need it more than I do...especially for the frizz, which again, it honestly works against. Once a week I also commit to taking a luxurious bath - with lots of magnesium flakes to truly get myself in total zenned-out mode ready for bed. I've added the Supermasque treatment to this weekly regime, and yup - you guessed it: MY HAIR IS STARTING TO LOOK ALMOST (ALMOST) AS FLAWLESS AS MANDANA'S!