Self care is so much more than skin deep. New Flax Home friend, Victoria Ferguson, is a professional makeup artist and Founder of Vancouver-based clean skincare brand, East 29th. Join us as she chats about her journey to creating and connecting with a more mindful self care routine.
My knowledge of skin has grown rapidly over the years through experimenting with creating formulas of my own. In retrospect, it's the relationship that has the most weight in our lives. Flare-ups of a combination of texture and tone were common and quite vivid throughout my teens. My skin had humble beginnings in a household where skincare wasn't part of the dialogue.
I went through puberty and pregnancy simultaneously, which (ready-or-not) was the moment I needed more than the soap and water I had been using. It would also be the spark that would later ignite my curiosity to create skincare products that spoke the language of my skin.
Conversations between my skin and I have unfolded since identifying and removing the number one skin irritant - fragrance, which results from volatile compounds reacting (meaning it's released when certain chemicals react with each other). Instead of trying to cover it up, I've learned to hear what it has to say. Understanding that imperfections are just natural communication between skin and self has shifted the lens I viewed skincare through.
When I had the vision for East 29th, I knew it needed to be dimensionally diverse, focusing on being empathy-forward and driven by purpose - celebrating lemon rind extract and simplifying routines. Hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, lemon rind extract, vitamins C and E are an essential combination for delivering a high concentration of all-natural ingredients directly into the skin after cleansing to improve hydration, texture, and tone while also firming, promoting elasticity, and smoothing wrinkles. We’ve replaced multiple products by housing all of them in our Vital Serum.
There were a lot of ups and downs in creating my current routine, and I think that's important to make a note of. It's become my safe space, where textures are felt emotionally, mentally, and intellectually instead of physically.
My Vitruvi diffuser sets the tone with nostalgic notes of their organic rosemary essential oil that expresses a grounding duality of being herbal and woodsy. Texture and tone worthy of celebration. Some of the essential parts of my skincare routine seem to focus more on the second half of the word.
My hands seem to have a mind of their own and, not surprisingly, have fallen in love with the new linen wash towels from the like-minded neighbours, Flax Home. As someone who is visually inclined, in my younger years, I admit I selected products based on aesthetics, even when I lacked results (which is a normal human response when you aren't sure what you're looking for).
As a professional makeup artist working in film, I experienced many products while problem-solving skin related issues on a much larger scale than just my own. Ironically enough, the deeper I was into my makeup career, the less makeup I wore. After watching my texture disappear and a completely even tone appear, I found my skin at the center of daily conversations, which resulted in the morning of East 29th (the period of first development).
The absorption rate has quickly replaced aesthetics, which is articulated through the essential component in my morning and night skincare routines - East 29th's Vital Serum. It has also found a home within softening my eczema from head-to-toe.
Eminence's Organic Lip Trio featuring a gentle fruit enzyme exfoliator, masque, and balm is part of my daily morning routine, while their Eight Greens Phyto Masque warms up my nightly routine once a week. If I ever do get around to wearing makeup, their Herbal Eye Makeup-Remover always does the trick.
With the environment always in mind, I use my empty Vital Serum bottles to propagate my plant's trimmings. After a successful launch in July, we're back in the lab with two more conscious creations that I’m looking forward to adding to our vocabulary.
photos & words by Victoria Ferguson