The Bath Connoisseurs: Jamie Leilani Pelayo and JP Collett
Much like the beginning of the brand’s story, everything seemed to fall into place as Collett and Pelayo—both fashion and beauty veterans—brought natureofthings to market just before COVID-19 caused the world to shut down. "Suddenly, people not only had more time on their hands quarantining at home, but they realized that they needed to take better care of themselves both physically and mentally,” says Pelayo. "The fact that our products not only had beautiful and thoughtful packaging, but also provided an instantaneous boost in calming relaxation or potent, purposeful pain and inflammation relief made all the difference.”
Wellness is something that will be a never-ending pursuit, a goal that becomes more of a daily routine than a scheduled appointment
Even as the masses make their wayback to the hustle and bustle of polite society, it’s clear that some things—like indulgent beauty rituals—are here to stay. "Our vision is for our customers to feel comfortable in their own skin quite literally from head to toe,” explains Pelayo. The brand’s newly released facial collection was created to help people "live confidently” and maintain the makeup-optional philosophy many ascribed to while social distancing from friends, family, and co-workers.
"Everything from clothing to mascara should be an accessory to accentuate or make a statement on how you feel about yourself, not be used as a mask, a Band-Aid, or a diversion from who one truly is,” adds Pelayo. "I think that is what well-being is truly about—beauty as a state of mind, reflecting the intrinsic well-being of each individual.”
Their best business advice: "Be uncompromising,” says Pelayo. "We founded this business with clear values in terms of clean, natural ingredient choices, science-backed product efficacy, and an aesthetic tied to sustainability. There has never been a question that the extra investment we made—versus taking cheap industry shortcuts—was going to pay off.” Added to that, Collett says, “Nothing will provide longevity like a clear vision paired with a quality standard that is adopted from brand to product to finance.”
Their proudest product moments: "Our Reparative Facial Moisturizer is my favorite formula that we created. Sometimes the simplest products are the hardest to execute and this was no different,” says Collett. "We were able to create a light and airy formula that is extremely effective. It’s on par with some of the most prestigious brands in the world, but doesn’t compromise on clean, elemental-derived ingredients. Try it and you will see what I am talking about!”
"It’s a tough choice, but certainly the Superlative Body Balm in terms of the feedback we get from clients,” says Pelayo. "We’ve had people suffering from chronic conditions like fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis, to people with acute sports injuries or muscle strains, to women with aches, pains, and restless legs tell us how effective the product has been in helping them find relief. It’s so much more gratifying and validating to know that your products aren’t just masking the issues people are experiencing, but really making a profound change in the quality of their lives.”
Their favorite forms of self-care: "The ocean as a whole is my sanctuary. Even in its most extreme conditions it provides me a form of meditation and fulfillment that is helpful for my mind, body, and soul,” says Collett. "Another ritual that has become extremely therapeutic has been weekly bathing treatments. After being in lock down for the majority of the past 14 months, a 30-minute bath in solitude has been transformative.” Pelayo agrees: "Bathing is my favorite ritual—there is nothing more therapeutic to me than a hot, relaxing soak. Most times, I double up on our Fortifying Magnesium Soak and Restorative Floral Bath. It may seem decadent, but it’s completely worth it and less expensive or time-consuming than having a massage.”
Their ride-or-die products: "Our Nourishing Body Creme,” says Pelayo. "I’m about to give birth and slathering the creme all over my growing belly has been a nice little massage ritual. It’s also kept my skin well-hydrated and without any evidence of pregnancy-related stretch marks over the past several months.” For Collett, it’s the brand’s new Balancing Facial Essence. "It’s hands down my favorite product,” he says. "With so many active, plant-based ingredients, it soothes and tones sun-kissed skin.”
Their top drugstore discoveries: "Sun Bum Mineral Sunscreen,” says Collett. "For someone who spends a lot of time in the sun, it's a good daily screen that’s as clean as it gets.” Pelayo, however, is more interested in perusing the shelves in French pharmacies when she visits family in Biarritz. "I especially love a local brand called Laboratoires de Biarritz and their Fluide Après-Soleil [After-Sun Fluid], which I pick up each time I visit,” she says.
Their biggest beauty mistakes: "Growing up in the ’90s in the Midwest, I wanted to have my eyebrows waxed into that perfectly thin line before a school dance,” says Pelayo. "I think it cost about two dollars and I had the most horrendously uneven arches that were immortalized in photos. Thankfully, they grew back.” For Collett, it was a dye job gone wrong: "I thought I would look good with blonde hair. I do not.”
Their beauty icons: Pelayo looks to Parisian women "who embrace graceful aging—a combination of innate confidence in who they are and knowing just the right amount of dermatological fine-tuning needed to present themselves well.” For Collett, it’s his twin brother Morgan Collett, co-founder of Saturdays New York City.
Her beauty mantra: "Self-care is health care,” says Pelayo. "Investing more in oneself in terms of a holistic, at-home wellness approach involving diet, plant remedies, meditation, massage, and exercise can do so much more for us than relying on pharmaceuticals and doctors to solve problems that result when our systems are out of whack.”
His definition of wellness: "Wellness is something that will be a never-ending pursuit, a goal that becomes more of a daily routine than a scheduled appointment,” explains Collett. "Growing up, it was not really in fashion to take care of yourself, the party lifestyle was what we all were after. I still enjoy a good time but being more aware of my decisions—both internally and externally—has opened a new level of consciousness that is benefiting my entire life.”
Her go-to beauty pros: "Striiike for the talents of all the Streicher sisters, but most often either eyebrow tinting or micro-feathering with Kristie. I’ve been seeing the same facialist, Tanya, at Ava Shamban’s office since I was in my early twenties. She was recommended to me by fashion designer Jenni Kayne and she helped get my skin under control after years of tormenting it with terrible, chemical-laden products. Ricari Studios for their incredible Signature Treatment, which combines lymphatic drainage with cellular stimulation—both things that I cannot live without,” says Pelayo of the people and places that have cemented their place in her little black book. "Important parts of my postpartum recovery will include abhyanga massage administered by my doula, as well as wet cupping by our family’s Eastern medicine practitioner.”
Their favorite escapes: "I am not sure if a surfboard counts as a true beauty product, but the ocean. Full stop,” says Collett. For Pelayo, it’s the Middle East or North Africa. "Turkey, Oman, United Arab Emirates, or Morocco, where I can enjoy some of my favorite food, culture, the landscapes, as well as one of the oldest and best beautifying places of all time: the hammam,” she says. I definitely bring our Fortifying Magnesium Soak so that I can enjoy baths wherever I go. It’s great for jet lag recovery along with the Superlative Body Balm.”
Written by Amber Kallor
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