Jan 9, 2018

8 local beauty brands we're loving right now

The Pacific Northwest may be known for its plethora of coffee shops and tech start-ups, but it's also home to a full range of fabulous beauty brands too. We're talking everything from skincare to makeup, nail polish, and more. Here's a round-up of our favorite Seattle-based beauty brands.

Founded in 2007 by former Starbucks executive Jane Park, Julep has been one of my go-to Seattle beauty brands for a long time. My friend Natasha used to head up their PR and would literally blow my mind with the products they were launching. Dual-ended kajal eyeliner that would last all day and not irritate my eyes? Check. An oxygen nail treatment that would help me to stop biting my nails for good? Yes, please. Julep has it all, from Korean-inspired beauty products to long-last nail lacquers and even free-standing nail parlors sprinkled around the city.

Thrive Causemetics 
Founded by Karissa Bodnar, Thrive Causemetics is a Seattle-based beauty brand that gives back. For every product sold, one is donated to empower a woman thriving through cancer or domestic violence. All products in the line are 100% vegan and cruelty-free. The range includes blush, lipstick, mascara, eyelashes, eyelash adhesive, and makeup brushes.

Paula's Choice
Founded in 1995 by Paula Begoun, Paula's Choice is an online beauty brand based in Seattle. Their product line is non-irritating, fragrance-free and never tested on animals. British Vogue recently called their 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant the "elixir of dreams" because it allows you to exfoliate without actually scrubbing your skin. One of the things that I personally love is that you can shop the site by category, skincare concern, or collection. You can even order your favorite Paula's Choice products in travel size which is perfect for all my jetsetting friends.

flora & henri
Although not a traditional beauty brand, Seattle-based flora & henri did in fact launch fragrances last fall. Isle of May and Alcazar Palace, developed in partnership with local perfumer Chelsey Owen, were a huge hit with shoppers over the holiday season. Available in three sizes, the fragrances make a great gift (for Valentine's Day, perhaps?) and offer a full sensory experience.

Velvet Report
Lindsey Arnold originally launched Velvet Report as a blog to share her love of vegan and cruelty-free beauty products. The site has now expanded to include a full shopping section that features vegan beauty boxes, makeup starter sets, micellar water, and face masks. I also like that she features local brands in her edited assortment whenever possible.

Herbivore Botanicals
Although this local brand is currently experiencing massive growth, the company is just a little more than five years old. Created in a Seattle kitchen by husband and wife team Julia and Alex, Herbivore is founded on the idea that skincare products can and should be safe, non-toxic, and highly effective using organic, food-grade ingredients. The entire line is excellent but my favorite product is the Coco Rose Body Polish which is perfect for getting a super smooth shave on your legs.

Van der Pop
Launched in 2016 by April Pride, Van der Pop offers a full range of beautifully designed products for female marijuana connoisseurs including leather stash bags, violet glass jars, geometric porcelain pipes, and pre-rolled cones. The Van der Pop line also includes several skincare products that feature European-cultivated hemp seeds including serums, creams, body balms, and luxurious body oils.

butter LONDON
It would be a miss not to include butter LONDON in this round-up. Their polishes are fabulous, and yes, they even have one that matches Pantone's Color of the Year. The company also just opened a nail bar in Seattle's trendy South Lake Union neighborhood with means I now have zero excuses for sporting a chipped manicure for extended periods of time.

Photo image courtesy of Van der Pop. 

Jan 6, 2018

10 Seattle boutiques you can shop on Garmentory.com

When I started this blog back in 2008, my goal was to highlight cool designers and boutiques in the city. In fact, this site was originally called "Seattle Boutique Blogspot". What that name lacked in originality it made up for with rich, shopping-specific content. I loved hearing from readers who would peruse the site and discover new shops in their own backyard almost as much as I loved delighting the indie designers that I featured. The truth is that these local shops and designers are what make Seattle great. They are the cornerstones of our communities and one of the many reasons Seattle is such a wonderful and creative place to live and work. But, one blog can only feature so many stories, and what these small businesses really needed to thrive was an online platform that allowed consumers from all over the world to shop their stores. They needed a way to diversify their revenue stream while also expanding their reach in the world of e-commerce. Enter Garmentory.com. The Seattle-based company launched in 2013 with the goal of bringing the curated experience of brick-and-mortar shopping to the world of e-commerce. At the time of the launch, the company featured just 25 designers and boutiques. It was a win-win scenario for everyone. Indie designers and boutiques finally had an online hub to move through merchandise and reach new customers, and online shoppers had the ability to shop for hard-to-find labels and boutiques, all in one place.

Fast forward to 2018 and you can now shop from over 3,000+ designers and 500+ boutiques on Garmentory.com including some cool Seattle shops. Baby & Company, Glasswing, Rizom, and Velouria are just a few of the stores you can explore on Garmentory. The assortment from Seattle also includes designer lines SCHAI, SILVAE, and Salua Lingerie. Check out a few of our favorite picks from the site.

The woven dress you'll want to wear every day...

The ultimate accessory to finish off any outfit...

Faris Bold Cuff available from Rizom

The white shirt you'll wear with everything this season...

SCHAI Astro Shirt 

The silk dress you need to add more color to your life...

La Prestic Ouiston Silk Dress available from Baby & Co. 

The hanging terrarium you need to find your zen...

Modern Glass Terrarium available from Glasswing

The romper you can't wait to prance around the house in....

Salua Lingerie Silk Romper 

To date, Garmentory has raised $3.6M to continue growing its e-commerce platform. Last year they added menswear and this year the world is their oyster. We can't wait to see what's next for this cool Seattle-based company.

10 Seattle brands available on Garmentory
1. Pipe & Row
2. Clementines
3. Salua Lingerie
5. Rizom
6. Glasswing
7. Blackbird
8. Silvae
9. Herbivore Botanicals
10. Faris

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