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Sarah Uslan knows a thing or two about skincare. In her journey to becoming a renowned makeup artist, she studied under the tutelage of the patron saint of natural makeup Bobbi Brown, who believes healthy skin is the basis for every look. But Uslan was not satisfied creating her iconic bare-face beauty solely with makeup. Leveraging her learnings, and tapping into her fierce love of science, Uslan created LULA – a botanical-based, sustainable skincare line with a less-is-more practicality. As a busy mom, writer and beauty enthusiast, I was eager to get glowing with this multifaceted skincare. Did it live up to its promise? Read on.
The Skincare Trifecta
Given the brand ethos of simplicity and Sarah’s own minimalist aesthetic, LULA features three products rooted in clean, yet effective botanicals. While each item has its purpose, they lend themselves to around the clock usage as a group.
Potion Serum ($125)
With 14 active botanicals and floral extracts, the Potion Serum hydrates and nourishes skin. The serum feels weighty and rich – with its Grapeseed, Lavender, Hazelnut, Avocado, Evening Primrose, Turmeric Root, Bergamot Fruit (just to name a few!) oils – but effortlessly absorbs into skin. “I went to the formulators with a goal of including all of my favorite oils,” Sarah explains. “A garden’s worth of botanicals in one product, in addition to the moisturizing, antioxidant, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory benefits.”
The power of this serum is as much about what’s inside as what it leaves behind – which for me is a hydrated, dewy glow. Makeup, when I opt to wear it, looks fresher as there are no dry lines or creasing.
While I did not detect a fragrance per se, LULA’s Potion Serum exudes a lovely scent reminiscent of the fresh outdoors. It’s no coincidence that the scent is so enthralling as Sarah dedicated time to curating the oils to ensure skin and sensory benefits. “Our signature scent is the result of trial and error…Lavender and Rosemary calm, while Jasmine and Bergamot bring intrigue. It feels familiar, warm and a little exciting.”
Beyond Balm ($75)
Sarah was eager to bring this beauty staple to life, having first created the concept on a shoot in Malibu. “I wanted to give the model the most fresh-looking glow. I did not want to use makeup and highlighters to create the effect but rather skincare for that natural radiant-from-within feel. I went into my kit and began pulling out various balms and oils, blending them together with a spatula. The result was the very first rendition of the Beyond Balm. On my drive home I noticed how moisturized and smooth my hands felt, and that's when it clicked … I needed to make this product for everyone to experience.”
"I went into my kit and began pulling out various balms and oils, blending them together with a spatula. The result was the very first rendition of the Beyond Balm. On my drive home I noticed how moisturized and smooth my hands felt, and that's when it clicked … I needed to make this product for everyone to experience.”
I concur that this rich emollient nourishes skin and leaves a brilliant natural glow. After rubbing hands together to warm the product, melding the shea butter with its many oils (including Olive, Jojoba Seed, Lavender, Bergamot Fruit and Rosemary Leaf), it begins melting into skin while applying. The Beyond Balm’s Jasmine Flower extract boasts antibacterial and antioxidant properties to protect skin and boost immunity, while Squalane (one of my favorite beauty ingredients thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties and profound hydration that won’t clog pores) fights free radicals and enhances hydration. Broad Spectrum CBD also builds the skin’s moisture barrier to retain hydration.
As a multi-functional product, Beyond Balm can be used day or night. It is also great on cuticles or to combat dry lips. As it’s luxuriously thick and absorbs slowly, it is my ideal overnight treatment – I use it in abundance to nurture dry skin, so it’s supple by morning. The Balm’s viscosity also makes it a phenomenal barrier, ideal for locking in moisture (perfect for layering over the Potion Serum). For daytime usage, a little of this lush balm goes a long way alone or layered under makeup. But rather than use in the morning, my preference is to reach for Beyond Balm to rescue my skin from the oft 3pm slump. A very small dose rubbed into palms then gently pat onto my face revitalizes both my skin and my spirit.
Hand & Body Lotion ($55)
The LULA trio tour de force is made complete with a luxurious Hand & Body Lotion.
Rich with Shea Butter, Squalane and Broad-Spectrum Hemp Extract, this hearty lotion delivers moisture and nourishes skin. And, I have found, the signature LULA scent grounds you while applying. There is something serene and ritualistic about body care; It’s the step most often forgotten in my own routine, which (according to dermatologists) means my skin barrier is compromised and no longer protects skin from outside irritants. LULA does more than relieve the dry skin, its luminosity enhances skin tone and gives body parts you want to show off – legs or decollete – a radiance.
“When working with clients, I am equally responsible for the radiance of the skin on their neck, decollete, arms, legs, hands and feet as I am for their face. After years searching for a perfect lightweight moisturizing lotion, I decided to formulate the LULA Hand & Body lotion. I wanted to include power moisturizing and hydrating ingredients like Shea Butter and Squalane while also smelling naturally fresh and clean with our beautiful essential oil blend. This is always a conversation starter because whenever I apply this on models or clients, everyone comments on how incredible it smells while not being overwhelming either.” Mission accomplished.
Healthy Glow Getter
Quite possibly my favorite aspect of LULA is the emphasis on healthy skin – not one mention of lines, wrinkles or the (bane of my existence) anti-aging vernacular. This harkens back to Sarah’s roots that healthy skin is beauty, with or without makeup. “When we say that LULA is a ‘makeup artistry skincare brand,’ it is not just about creating skincare that indulges the skin in a soothing ritual, it’s also about my intention as a makeup artist to get skin glowing and moisturized so that it can be a feature of focus rather than a feature to cover up.”
Quite possibly my favorite aspect of LULA is the emphasis on healthy skin – not one mention of lines, wrinkles or the (bane of my existence) anti-aging vernacular. This harkens back to Sarah’s roots that healthy skin is beauty, with or without makeup.
Thank you, LULA for seeing – and bringing out - the beauty in women.
I can’t wait for others to find their radiance with the brand.
Five More Reasons To Love LULA:
- With multi-purpose products that nourish and improve skin’s appearance over time, LULA founder Sarah Uslan strives for skin that ultimately requires less makeup – and has a healthy glow that makes you feel like your best self.
- LULA’s Hand & Body lotion does more than enhance radiance and hydrate. Applying to work the nutrients into skin can help alleviate stress and tension.
- LULA is a sensorial experience that can elevate your skincare ritual.
- The brand is named after Sarah’s daughter Tallulah, as a commitment that the brand will do great things for her (and future) generation. The products are clean, conscious, Leaping Bunny Certified and packaged in recyclable glass/plastic/FSC-certified paper.
- Sarah Uslan’s commitment to charity runs deep. The brand has partnered with NEU Global (which was founded by Sarah’s mother, Nancy) which provides clean water delivery infrastructure to communities in Rwanda.