Follain Opens in Union Market
Follain, a Boston-based purveyor of all-natural beauty products, recently opened a store in Washington, D.C., and last week I had the pleasure of attending their launch at their Union Market location at 1359 Fifth St. NE. Follain, which means “healthy, wholesome and sound” in Gaelic, carries an array of carefully edited products that contain none of the harmful substances that are unfortunately often found in cosmetics and skin care products.
As I sipped green juice and browsed the beautifully arranged shelves, and felt a bit like a kid in a candy store, I chatted with company founder Tara Foley from whom I learned about the company’s history and philosophy. After working on a lavender farm in southern France followed by a stint at a skin care manufacturer in Maine, Foley developed an interest in healthy, sustainable beauty products. She quickly realized that finding products that met her requirements was exceedingly difficult, and Follain was borne of her longtime and often frustrating quest for clean, non-toxic cosmetics. It was nearly impossible to find a shop that stocked only safe, completely natural cosmetics and hair care so Foley realized that she would have to open her own.
Most of us are now at least somewhat aware of the dangerous chemicals that can lurk in our toiletries and cosmetics. Our skin is permeable and can absorb many of these toxins, which can have detrimental effects on our health. For example, parabens and phthalates are possible endocrine disrupters and carcinogens, and the latter is also suspected of causing birth defects. For more information on the subject, see the Follain website on restricted ingredients. Foley screens products for unhealthy, toxic ingredients so that customers can rest assured that all products are U.S.-made and meet the highest standard of safety and purity.
Along with her stringent safety requirements, Foley also demands performance from the natural products purveyed by Follain. Oftentimes, the heavy, greasy textures of many all-natural products turn people off of green beauty. And, sometimes natural products simply don’t perform. Skin care products fail to meet expectations and makeup colors fade too quickly. However, all of the eco-friendly lines in Follain’s portfolio are effective and high-performance and match or surpass the results one expects from luxury beauty lines.
Some of my favorite discoveries at Follain:
The soap bar, where one can try gorgeous natural soaps in refreshing, natural scents. Keep the bottle for refills!
Lurk natural perfume oils are exquisite handmade perfumes are created in the SoHo atelier of perfumer Ann Sanford. They contain only 100 percent natural essences blended into a jojoba oil base. The intoxicating rose and sandalwood notes of RSW005 had me instantly captivated.
Shamanuti is a skin care line that I’ve been meaning try. I am adding the popular Activated Charcoal Cleanser and Seaweed Toner to my summer skin care regimen this year to keep my complexion trouble-free in the heat and humidity.
Ilia Beauty is something you unequivocally need. Make haste and trot down to Union Market to find your perfect summer shade of The Tinted Lip Conditioner. The texture is moisturizing, translucent and amazingly, it lasts.
Follain is open from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday and closed Monday.
A native Washingtonian, Beauty Blogger Lia Phipps is an interior designer with an irrepressible, life-long fascination with health and beauty. When she is not selecting fabrics and paint colors for clients, she occupies herself with trying new products and dispensing beauty advice to friends, acquaintances and anyone who is willing to listen to “Tips from Phipps”.