Behind the Scenes: Juice Beauty Farm in Sonoma
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You guyyyys. I have had this pretty much ready / waiting for me to write since Sunday. I thought I’d have time over my quick business trip, but I did not. I feel like the word exhaustion is slipping out of my mouth more often than not. The old me would have probably pulled an all nighter trying to get this out to you, but I’ve been trying to listen to my body and avoid total burnout. Additionally, I’m searching and searching for ways to reinvent Element of Fashion, creatively speaking.
One of my new(er) passions (circa early 2017), is clean beauty. I’m still looking for a couple of products to switch over (shampoo is going to be the death of me), but the brand that started it all for me was Juice Beauty. JB was created in 2005 by Karen Behnke, after initially becoming interested in the clean beauty upon getting pregnant with her first child. She has an extensive background in wellness companies, so Juice Beauty is just an extension of that extensive passion in her life. I say “just an extension”, but it’s really so much more than that, as they are and continue to be one of the leaders in the clean skincare category and truly live out the brand standards.
On our recent trip to Napa, the appointment I was most looking forward to wasn’t with a vineyard… well I guess it kind of was? ;) I got to visit the farm that Juice Beauty purchased last summer, which is where the organic grapes are grown that they use in their line. Juice Beauty gets its name from the fact that they use actual juice in their products, so their vineyards are being used for you skincare and makeup!! And you just thought you liked to DRINK the product of yummy grapes ;)
Something that I didn’t know prior to our meeting was how to spot whether or not a vineyard sprays pesticides. The first question to ask is if the rows in-between the vines are wild and free or perfectly groomed. In addition to that, take note on whether or not owl boxes are present. If it is farmed organically, the rows will be more wild than groomed and chances are you will also see the iconic yellow mustard flowers. (It grows naturally in the valley, but often times is strategically planted too.) It isn’t a weed that just grows due to lack of maintenance, as it is actually a valuable plant that pops up! It provides nutrients and phosphorus to the grapes, in addition to playing offense and defense on the grounds. Regarding the growth of the grapes, it enriches the produce. It also defends them from nematodes (tiny worms), which keeps the grapes safe, without having to use harsh chemicals and pesticides. Owl boxes are usually a sign of organic farming as well.
Compared to Napa, Sonoma is more focused on organic growing, in addition to sustainability. It only makes sense that Juice Beauty would find their perfect spot there! Driving around in Sonoma, you’ll see “Sonoma sustainable” signs which are awarded to those trying to help make Sonoma the first sustainable wine region ever. (They are hoping to 100% get there by 2020!) Annnnd you know Juice Beauty has this recognition! Some examples of how these are obtained are having an on-sight water source such as a pond and using solar panels.
Their Sonoma farm obviously is home to their grapes, but in addition to that, they have olive trees! They utilize these to make squalane for their entire Signal Peptides collection. Signal Peptides is an anti-aging line that is aimed more at women and men 40+, but those 20 somethings love it too ;) Their property currently has 13 olive tree varietals and they hope to have more olive / squalane products in the future! On top of grapes and olives, Juice Beauty also pays homage to their other produce with small representation plots near the farmhouse. Up front they have an apple spot! Although the apple orchard they use is in Washington state, they wanted to showcase it, as their Green Apple line is a major cult favorite.
Let me tell you that Juice Beauty is a brand that practices what it preaches. Karen and her family have not only built Juice Beauty to be a front runner for organics and clean beauty, but they also live out their life that way. They were early adopters of electric cars and promote clean living spaces as well. Their clean-chic farmhouse on the Healdsburg property is the epitome of nontoxic living. Though the inside is stark white and its signature green, it is warm and inviting. Their furniture is from reclaimed and / or salvage pieces. Their couches don’t have flame retardant. Their linens are organic. Their paint is nontoxic. Each bathroom is complete with its own Ylang Ylang spa wash and hand lotion. YOU GET THE BEAUTIFUL PICTURE?! I always love learning that a company’s values extend much further than the walls of their office. Walk that walk, baby!
Meeting Karen Behnke, Juice Beauty’s Founder, was nothing short of a dream. She was so sweet and I could have discussed her life and nontoxic beauty for hours! She even convinced Nick to maybeeeee care a little more about his skin! My favorite thing was that she mentioned her husband loved the Green Apple Peel Mask and Nick chimed in and asked if he would like it!! I’m like ummmm yeah I’d be happy to do that for you. Hasn’t happened yet, but of course I’ll let you know if it does;)
If I had to pick one “must have” product from Juice Beauty, it would be their antioxidant serum. It was one of the first products I used of theirs! It’s EWG verified and is the perfect morning serum for me. (I put it on after I tone and before I moisturize. I also “jade roll” it into my skin.) I didn’t buy their green apple peel mask until early 2018, but it has easily become one of my ride or die products as well. (I try to use it at least once a week, nightly. If you have sensitive skin, they offer a sensitive version as well. ) Another one of their products that I use daily is their light diffusing dust, aka loose powder. I looooved their CC cream (I used it for almost 2 years), but I cut out all of the coconut oil in my beauty routine, so sadly I had to give that up.
All in all, this trip to their farm hasn’t only made me fall more in love with their brand! As a reminder, Juice Beauty is nontoxic, cruelty free, and vegan friendly! (some of their lip products have sustainably sourced beeswax and/or honey.) If you haven’t tried out some of the products, I highly recommend. I usually buy them directly from Juice Beauty, but you can also find them at Ulta, Anthropologie, Neiman Marcus, Blue Mercury, Dillard’s, Goop and more. Stay beautiful!!
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