Tara Foley knows her stuff. The founder of Follain – a brilliantly curated shop of high-performing, safe beauty products (both online and IRL in Boston, Nantucket, D.C., and her latest, a just-opened Soho outpost) – was on the fast-track to becoming a lawyer when she started researching nontoxic beauty products for herself personally.
One scary fact led to another, including an apprenticeship on a lavender farm in France (doesn’t that sound like heaven?) and a blog, the Naturalchemyst, where she shares her latest beauty findings (bookmark it immediately). In 2013, she finally took the leap and opened up shop – and lucky for all of us.
Today Tara helms a fast-growing collection of stores as well as shopfollain.com, the online outpost for all things healthy and effective – all while raising five-month-old son Henry. We asked Tara for her current favorite products that truly work and the tips she swears by. Here is her highly coveted list. And you won’t find any of these toxic ingredients in any of them.
A good blowout is a time saver and a confidence booster, but you never know what toxins are hiding in the products at the salon – so it’s best to BYOHC. (That’s bring your own hair care.😉) This spray-on conditioner makes comb-throughs easy pre-blowout and doesn’t weigh hair down. Plus it’s packed with vitamins that help protect hair from the harshness of heated styling.
Speaking of blowouts, I can make mine last almost an entire week with this dry shampoo. You’ve probably read about a lot of lawsuits lately around the scariness of talc, and that’s typically what’s in dry shampoo. This one uses super-fine Cassava starch powder instead. Just shake some out and rub it into the roots – volume in, greasies out. This one is especially great for darker hair too, as it’s not white and flaky.
A serum is the workhorse of your skincare regimen. I like one that works hard to nourish my skin but also makes me nice and glowy (but not greasy). This is the one I’m really into right now. It’s made up of a blend of whole plants that work together to stimulate collagen, fight sun damage, and help grow healthy new cells. The key to serums is to take a little extra time when applying them – pressing them into your skin until you actually feel a pop (that’s the serum going into the pores!) to get maximum results.
Lip polishes are my best friend as the weather gets cold. To really heal dry lips for good, you need to scrub all those flakes off first. Avoid lip balms with toxic petrolatum at all costs – those actually dry your lips out even more! I love French Girl’s rose lip polish because it has the right balance of oils (to nourish) and sugar (to gently scrub). The pink color from organic beet powder is an added bonus! We’ve tested loads of scrubs – this one kept “disappearing” – the sure sign of a winner!
This stuff is magical: Take a few drops, rub it into your palms, and then inhale deeply. The lavender de-stresses, while clary sage helps you stay asleep. This is the best way to get some instant calm before bedtime. It’s always on my nightstand – I need every minute of sleep I can get, and I’m convinced this helps me get a few more each night.