Wednesday, February 25, 2015

MAKERS + MOVERS: ISA'S RESTORATIVE


makers + movers is a series that feature makers of clean products of integrity, thought, + passion which then move the world towards a higher consciousness . . . 
first came across Isa's beautiful line while browsing the equally beautiful selection of beauty products at Catbird nyc. I and my inner little fairy was pretty taken to say the least with concoctions like Love potion + lilac rouge, both of which I had appropriately included in my Valentine's Day gift guide.So, I was so honoured to connect further with Isa, indulge in her latest creations, + hear the story behind her line. She crafts each batch of her balms, lotions, + potions with a loving touch that infuses itself into the products just as her foraged herbs infuse into her sun-drenched oils. The result is liquid gold poured into her recent balms that envelop your skin in a day-glow. My skin has been been feeling more moisturised using my current favourite Blue Beauty Balm despite the the colder, stripping temperatures. It's so deeply restorative with oils such as sesame which, in Ayurvedic traditional medicine, is the ultimate oil for the windy, cold constitution of vata such as mine. The Immortelle Beauty Balm is equally healing for the skin although my uber sensitive skin sometimes gets irritated easily by jojoba oil, so I don't use it as often. This would be a great balm though for mature skin as it has regenerative oils borage, argan, + rosehip that are potent wrinkle-reducers. 








ISA BRITO, OWNER AT ISA'S RESTORATIVES | hand-crafted in brooklyn, ny

Q: Tell me a little about you + what inspired you to start Isa's Restoratives
My mother while baking a cake would sometimes put a little dollop of butter and a bit of sugar in my hand and say: rub your hands and feet for two minutes and rinse, tell me how it feels. Hand and feet scrub! I always played with natural ingredients at home, making my own products on the spot, but it wasn’t until my daughter started showing interest in products that I started taking it more seriously, with my herbalism background being the foundation of the formulas.
Q: How long did it take for you to craft your products to the state they are in now? What was the experience like for you?
It was very organic process. I made a moisturizer and then the toners, and as my private clients needs were revealed to me, I started formulating with the infrmation that people were interested in products that were also therapeutic.

Q: Do you have a ritual for making your products?
I like to work alone. And I usually like to spend my morning doing research and marketing. And in the afternoon I work in my studio, fulfilling orders and creating new formulas.
Q: When you are not working on your line, what else do you like to do?
I enjoy playing chess with my friends. I love cooking, baking and playing with fermentation. Recently, I started dying fabric with indigo using shibori methods, it’s a lot of fun and I am already expanding to other plants such as poke berry, nettles, and turmeric that all yield lovely hues.

Q: What keeps you going? Do you have a daily routine or a mantra?
The many possibilities keep me going. There are so many fascinating plants, oils, butters, clays, salts to work with, I love listening to people tell me what their needs are in terms of skin care and trying to address them.

Q: What are some of your favourite snacks or foods that fuel your creative process?
I love organic raw nuts, dark chocolate on occasion, and herby snacks such as nettles muffins. And infusions: I love drinking nourishing herbal infusions such as red raspberry, nettles and oat straw.
Q: What are your three staples for glowing health?
Exercise, organic balanced clean diet, and stress management.

Q: What would be an ideal day for you?
The ideal day for me would start with a lingering breakfast with my boyfriend on a summer weekend by the beach, followed by a walk to forage wild roses, mullein, raspberry leaves, yarrow, etc. Then a home cooked fresh local fish and salad for lunch. Work during the afternoon processing the foraged goods, followed by a late afternoon swim, and dinner in the garden under the starts. I do all my reading at night.
Q: Besides your divine products, what do you do or use to keep your skin beautiful? What is your beauty routine?
I adore facial balms. I presently have three on my website, but I am constantly working on new formulas. When formulated well, they are very nourishing and therapeutic, especially when the selected ingredients possess anti-inflammatory, detoxifying and anti-oxidant properties. I use the Blue Beauty Balm after a simple cold-water splash in the morning. 
At night I may use either a detoxifying mask or a nourishing mask depending how I am feeling and often I use a cleansing oil or a scrub before using my favorite night balm: the Immortelle Beauty Balm. My Blue Chamomile Face Cream is my loyal beauty ally. As for other brands, I love Josh Rosebrook’s hair products. His skin care items are also lovely.
Q: What are your g-to products in your holistic medicine cabinet?
There are a lot different things in my medicine cabinet: I’d say hundreds. As an herbalist, I pay attention to each individual client and addressing the condition in a holistic fashion. But for myself, I go for immune system support with herbs such as Astragalus, or adaptogens such as Eleuthero as a preventive daily ally. For colds and most infections, I usually attack with lots of Echinacea tincture and Elderberry syrup.

Q: What is your next big vision for Isa's Restoratives?
There is definitely a plan to grow and refine the collection. I have visions, but will for the moment keep it as a surprise!