eyeliner on a cat

eyeliner on a cat
beauty, scent & style scrutinized for pleasure

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Medicine Mama's Sweet Bee Magic: Product Reviews, a Love Letter and an Interview




I'm just going to be blunt: I'm completely obsessed with Medicine Mama's Sweet Bee Magic products. I use them all, and each time I do, I thank my lucky stars to be able to have something so perfect for my skin at an affordable price. I'd like to think there's a perfect balm for everyone out there, and if you're still searching for yours, I can't recommend these enough. They have several multi-use formulas, all of which are far beyond capable of first-aid triage, healing a number of skin and scalp issues, basic or severe dryness, acne, skin sensitivity and reactivity, and just good ol' fashioned apres-bathing. To really enjoy their products, I allow them to transcend the necessity of their functions and to ritualize my time with them. Medicine Mama's were also the ones to finally get me to try dry brushing on my body, face and lips followed by Sweet Bee Magic (I now alternate days with the abhyanga I'm already doing.)

Confession: late at night, sometimes I get drunk on skin care products. Once in awhile, I've been known to write an email (or perhaps "love letter" is more fitting) to a deserving company in my delirious state. Eric Furrer from Medicine Mama's was the recipient of one such love letter, and he was so nice-- he even answered some interview questions for me, which you'll find below my product reviews.



What Would a Bee Do? (besides sit there lookin' all cute, I mean)


First, I'd like to review a couple of my favorite products of theirs-- the Ultra Beauty Balm and the Magic Wand. These will help describe the differences between some of the formulas. Their other formulas not reviewed here that I also use and love are: the original Sweet Bee Magic (2 and 4 oz jars), V Magic (2 oz jars) and Calendula Baby Balm (2 oz jars).

Ultra Beauty Balm (2oz, $32)
With twice the amount of their proprietary honey and propolis 28 day bio fusion called Melexylem, Ultra Beauty Balm stands out not just as a utilitarian skin care product, but as a multi-use beauty product. Why? Back to the Melexylem: this particular formula is incredibly fine and smooth, feels almost matte on the skin when used in moderation, and it makes the most comfortable makeup primer EVER.The hydration is profound and creates a calm, even canvas for liquid, cream or powder face cosmetics.  It also contains a dose of organic sea buckthorn oil, which is loaded with antioxidants and essential fatty acids.  Fine lines and imperfections are blurred and skin projects happiness and coolness all day. I actually use it on my face, hands, neck, decollete and elsewhere, so I wouldn't mind it if they sold this golden balm in a bigger size. I use it on my hands and cuticles (especially at night), neck and decollete twice a day, and on my face and under my eyes as the last step in my daily skin care routine. I really take my time massaging it into my skin, like, between five and ten minutes if I can. This increases circulation, which helps to heal and rejuvenate skin and hasten cellular regeneration-- that's the best beauty medicine there is. Since I began using Ultra Beauty Balm regularly, my skin is perpetually supple, elastic and line-free,

I'm also quite obsessed with the very faint musky bee scent of this stuff! I can't really pinpoint it, it just smells like exactly what it is-- all natural, bees and olive oil, and that's about as good as it gets in my book. I do have a very sensitive nose, so I'm not sure other people would even notice any scent at all. If only every other brand had a "what you see and what you smell is what you get" thing happening. The other Sweet Bee varieties tend to have more of a honey scent-- just a tad sweeter. 

ingredients: organic extra virgin olive oil, organic beeswax, organic honey, Melexylem, organic sea buckthorn oil, royal jelly, bee pollen




Sweet Bee Magic Wand (0.5oz, $12.99)
I use the Magic Wand mostly as a lip balm, or if I'm traveling or just away from home, I'll use it for everything. It has the original Sweet Bee Magic formula with a heaping helping of organic avocado oil and extra beeswax added to the mix to make it a bit richer-- it stays on the lips much longer because of the increase in thickness and viscosity. It also makes an absolutely genius cuticle and hand treatment to use at night before you drift off to sleep. I like to keep several of the Magic Wands on hand at home and in my favorite bags (and my husband uses them too). Once I totally ran out and had no backup. I was WAY more crabby than you'd think was appropriate for the situation. If I'm being completely honest (hey, why not?), I have occasional anxiety problems, and one of the only things that helps me is if I have something like this on hand to busy myself with. Five minutes of massaging my cuticles and hands with Sweet Bee Magic is the best therapy. The basic act of being kind to my skin reverberates through my whole being. It really translates to self-love in the simplest way.

ingredients: organic extra virgin olive oil, organic extra virgin avocado oil, organic beeswax, Melexylem- a proprietary blend of honey and propolis




THE INTERVIEW!

What follows is the result of an impromptu and fun interview I did a couple months ago with Eric Furrer of Medicine Mama's:


What is the shelf life of your products? (seems like it would be at least 5 years-- which is amazing-- you should start marketing to survivalists... they need skin care too!)

The shelf life of our product is two years. There's always a expiration date stamped on the label right below the bar code. Because they're all honey and oil based, they have no water and so they are completely protected from all bacterial influence. Water and honey mixed are just an invitation for bacteria to grow, but our olive oil and honey mixture keeps out the bacteria thus not needing any preservative or harmful chemicals to keep it fresh.

What is Melexylem, and is it something new to your products or did you simply put a new name to something you've been doing all along? Do all Sweet Bee Magic products have it?

Melexylem is a 28 day infusion with honey and propolis. It's trademarked and a creation of Medicine Mama's Apothecary. We've put years of testing and time into perfecting this science and it's our little secret. Shhh, but tell your friends!




What are the differences between your products and formulas? They're all very similar, it seems.

There are slight differentiations from the Sweet Bee Magic and our other product for different uses. Ultra Beauty has double the Melexylem. Baby Balm formula has no honey. The Lip Wand has extra beeswax and avocado oil for a heavier consistency and extreme element protection in sports chafing and lip protection. We follow a very careful mission with any product out of our shop, "What would a bee do?" and we try to remain consistent with the ingredients that have been proven through nature.

What makes your new Ultra Beauty Balm great for beauty use? What are a couple of things that it's particularly good at doing?

The Ultra Beauty Balm has twice the amount of Melexylem which acts as a gentle alpha hydroxy, smooths and tones facial skins and helps reduce fine lines, wrinkles and age spots.

What's the most unusual use for Sweet Bee Magic that you've ever heard of or tried?

There once was a Bee Friend of ours who was visiting friends and had just gotten done moisturizing her feet when she realized the bamboo mat she was standing on had oil foot prints. Not knowing what to do, her instinct was to camouflage the prints with more Sweet Bee Magic. The mat looked so bright and vibrant the friends ended up asking about it and what she could have possibly done to make it look so beautiful?

Do you have any new products in the works that you can tell me a little bit about?

In the spring we'll have our newest surprise.
(ED: here's the surprise I just found when I checked the site today: Honey Facial Scrub!)

Dry Brushing: in a nutshell, why do you recommend it?

Trees have the healthiest skin of all organism because of constant agitation from weather, and pests. They are our role models in how to maintain our largest organ, the skin. Dry brushing releases dead skin and helps with circulation and blood flow to the surface. It also increases the cell turnover factor. The more skin is stimulated the faster the dead cells slough off, the faster new cells rise to the surface. Medicine Mama's next blog post will be discussing the importance of dry brushing your lips though the winter months.
(ED: HERE's that blog post)

Is there anything that Sweet Bee Magic CAN'T do? 

We have been trying to get it to do the dishes but so far it's not happening.

----------------------------------------------------

A huge shout-out, Big ups and major gratitude to Eric from Medicine Mama's and their whole team, who keep me and my skin super-mellow. If you're looking for a new (to you) indie skin care brand to get behind, I can't say enough good things about these products and the people who make them.

[all products were purchased by me for my own personal use. I have no affiliation with the brand. All photos via medicinemamasapothecary.com]