Although the chilled-out vibes of Jamaica may frequently call our name, the reality of not being able to experience them in person is a harsh one. Helping us ease that pain is the bijou skincare line Balmyard Beauty, which stylishly harnesses the power of traditional Caribbean remedies and folklore in its botanically based formulations.
Founded by Larissa Gunn, a casting director based in Brooklyn, the line is made from herbs and ingredients all locally sourced in Jamaica from small businesses and farms. In fact, the word ‘balmyard’ is another Jamaican reference – in Patois, it refers to a place where physical and spiritual healing rituals were performed.
Mythology aside, Balmyard Beauty delivers all the modern comforts we are accustomed to in its apothecary-like bottles. Its nourishing body oil is a mix of sweet almond, coconut and shea oils that moisturize, while hibiscus seed oil evens out skin tone and improves elasticity. To this, jasmine and rose bring a floral accord to its fragrance that lingers around you like a sunny day on island time. Its facial oil both brightens and calms skin with a blend of prickly pear seed oil, evening primrose, rosehip seed and sea buckthorn - ingredients that are all native to Jamaica. A two-in-one tinted balm for lips and cheeks imparts a buildable cherry stain with the help of Caribbean hibiscus flowers’ natural pigment.
For real tropical charm, the label also has a duo of muslin-wrapped bath sachets, which are filled with Jamaican herbs and flowers. One seeks to calm inflammation and promote collagen production with a traditional mélange of Spanish needle and Cerasee, while the other detoxes the system with its blend of lemongrass, ginger, grapefruit and Jack Inna Bush. With a portion of proceeds going back to Jamaican community organizations, the brand’s full circle ethos is the most uplifting part of all.
Photography: Brendan James