My Holiday Sales Picks

I gotta be honest, each year the holiday sales start earlier and get increasingly confusing. I started receiving emails as far back as September, and many of you messaged me around October to see when or if I’d be writing my usual holiday sales guide. I know that great deals coming at you over this period can aggravate a pretty aggressive case of FOMO (fear of missing out). My overall approach this year has been to wait until the Black Friday- Cyber Monday weekend, even with earlier holiday sales start dates. And I feel like it has paid off. But with so many sales, instead of a long list that you could possibly peruse anywhere, instead I’m sharing exactly what I’m getting for myself and which sales I’m using to get them. Do note: this list is serum-heavy because sales are when I typically splurge on this category.

5% Boost: If you have a Chase Freedom credit card, purchases made using PayPal automatically reward a 5% cash back bonus, so as I go through the deals, if I denote this boost, just know that you can basically add another 5% to the promotion. If you don’t have this card yet, get it here (there is no annual fee).

NATURIUM – 25% off Orders $50+, Code: THANKS.

I purchased a bunch of products from Naturium last year, but haven’t gotten around to reviewing them even though I’ve been using them consistently. So consider this my repurchase/mini-review in one:

Vitamin C Super Serum Plus — Naturium is priced very reasonably (this retails for $25 regular price), and the Vitamin C Super Serum Plus (the most concentrated Vitamin C serum in the line) will not feel like you’ve sacrificed any quality. Initially, I wasn’t sure if Naturium achieved the low price points by sacrificing ingredient quality or concentration, but after using the Vitamin C Super Serum Plus, I can confirm it is not the case. This is a VERY potent, yet non-irritating Vitamin C serum that utilizes pure Ascorbic Acid, and I often notice my skin brighten and look more even overnight. Beyond the Vitamin C, what I like about this serum is that it’s a one and done because there’s also retinol, hyaluronic acid, and niacinamide. I don’t really like to layer serums, I prefer to use one-two serums in my routine in one sitting, and changing them out daily based on how my skin feels. With the Vitamin C Super Serum Plus, it feels like I’m really going in on the Vitamin C without sacrificing anything else. I’m going to bring up the price again because it’s kind of unbelievable to me that this serum retails for $25, when really it could easily be going for $75+. So of course with 25% off, this is high on my repurchase list.

Alpha Arbutin Serum 2% — on nights where I’m not using Vitamin C or Retinol, I like using the alpha arbutin serum which has lemon (nighttime only!) and niacinimide to work on hyperpigmentation, dark spots, and balances skin tone. Where retinol promotes cell turnover, Vitamin C brightens skin and boosts collagen, this serum is a complexion brightening powerhouse that will work in tandem with retinols, Vitamin C, and anti-aging serums to really bring out that glow we all talk about. I also like adding Alpha Arbutin because you won’t usually find it in acid products, and it’s not only effective, but it’s considered a more skin-friendly alternative to hydroquinone (they’re the same root molecule), the gold standard skin brightener that dermatologists use for age spots, melasma, and post-inflammatory pigmentation.

YÜLI – 15% off Site-wide (with deluxe trial of Ambrosia Beauty Nectar), Code: BFCM21; 20% off Orders $250+ (with full-sized Harmony Body Oil, $80 value), Code: BFCM200.

YÜLI really is a staple in my skincare collection, and their once-a-year holiday sale is basically the only opportunity to get anything at discount. 20% off at $250 is the lowest price tier I’ve seen from them, not to mention you get an $80 product – Harmony Body Oil, which I feel is such an easy product to love that everyone can use. If you can’t hit that number, and just want to try something, you’re still getting a 15% discount, and they’re including a deluxe sample of Ambrosia Beauty Nectar, their most expensive (but worth it) product. Additionally, they take PayPal, so you can add in a bonus 5%.

Halcyon Cleanser – Limited Rose Edition — It’s no exaggeration to say that since finishing my last bottle of Halcyon Cleanser – Limited ROSE Edition last April, I’ve thought about it…. Each time I’ve cleansed my face. I mean… the original Halcyon is my holy grail cleanser, and the Rose edition is just so next-level aaahhhhhmazing. It smells of faint, aquatic roses, the type of fresh and pure floral that you just want to bury your nose into. And their rose is uncompromising, sourced from private gardens which is why the stock is so limited. I’m buying multiples.

Ambrosia Beauty NectarAmbrosia Beauty Nectar has been described as witchcraft in how it just does… everything you could want for the skin in an almost indescribable way. Writing a review for it a while ago proved it be a challenge because there was so much I wanted to say, and didn’t know how to say. Yes, even I found myself out of words. Just trust me on this, it’s an exquisite product. You know how you always hear about miracle serums that do multiple things? This is it. And the ingredients deck is all killer, no filler. For instance, there are multiple actives classed as pharmaceutical-grade antioxidants, and each one is like a miracle ingredient that has long been missing in skincare. Yes, it’s expensive, but there are still serums multiple times this price that don’t have a third of the innovation and formulation integrity as this one. It’s also why I stock up on this during the sale. The formula is absolutely worth it for what you’re getting.

Paula’s Choice – 20% Off Site-Wide

Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment: When it comes to retinols, I prefer to stick to the tried and true retinols, and when I think of tried-and-true, science-based formulas, you can’t go more standard than Paula’s Choice Clinical 1% Retinol which is a very powerful, result-driven retinol that happens to also be outfitted with antioxidants and even Vitamin C. It’s such a packed ingredients list for a great price. I had purchased two bottles last year that lasted me until August. I’ve felt a retinol-shaped hole in my routine since then, so I’ll be picking up one extra bottle this year.

Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant: When it comes to acid-exfoliants, I’m kind of done with glycolic acids. They’re harsh, photo-sensitizing, and can cause inflammation. Upon researching acids, I started finding more and more literature about the strengths of Salicylic Acid, an acid I recall from my acne-prone teenage years. I purchased a travel size of the Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant (pictured) last year, and have loved it for how gentle and effective it worked. Salicylic Acid works on the sticky and congested bits, the clogged pores, build up, and congestion. That’s why it’s so marvelous for acne. But even for those without acne, I feel those are the qualities one would want from an acid. Plus it’s so much gentler than glycolic acid.

The Nue Co. – 30% Off Site-wide + Free Barrier Culture Cleanser ($42 value) on orders $100+; Code: GARCONBF30

I love this deal because not only is 30% super generous, but the free bottle of Barrier Culture Cleanser (which I reviewed here) is so welcomed because it’s a product I would have otherwise purchased since I did like it a lot. Additionally, they accept PayPal, so you’re potentially looking at a whooping 35% off.

Barrier Culture Moisturizer — The ideal light yet weighty gel-cream texture, lightly scented with the most delicate touch of something nice and comforting, sinks into skin wonderfully, just perfection. Barrier Culture Moisturizer just resonated with me off the bat, and it’s sort of the ideal moisturizer for me. I’ve found myself always reaching for it as my moisturizer of choice from mid-summer to the colder temperatures we’re now experiencing. Such is Barrier Culture Moisturizer’s versatility that it never feels heavy yet always provides that perfect moisturizer benefit. I’m already on bottle 2, and will be purchasing another.

Destress 360 — Truth be told, since initially trying Destress 360 and really enjoying the benefits that I experienced, I’ve been looking around at others. BUT each time there is something that piques my interest, I read the ingredients list, compare them to Destress 360, and Destress 360 wins me back every single time. Most stress supplements focus on 1-2 herbs, an adaptogen or a CBD, but Destress 360 is so much more thorough and holistic. Since the pandemic, I’ve found my anxiety levels have increased significantly, but I just find that Destress 360 helps me coast through stressful days with ease that I otherwise would not have had.

Special Note: I would also recommend their Functional Fragrance, but I just feel like I’ve BEEN all about it for so long now. Seriously though, if you haven’t tried it yet, you really should.

Violet Grey – 20% Off Site-wide

D.S. & Durga Rose Atlantic — D.S. & Durga is one of those cool niche fragrance brands that I’ve been wanting to try, and I got a bottle of their Rose Atlantic after hearing how pretty much every cool kid in fashion and entertainment swears by it. I felt there was no better entry point to this chic Brooklyn perfume brand than the future Santal 33. And boy was it love at first sniff. Out of the box, I was afraid it would smell old-grandma, but nope, Rose Atlantic is much smoother and hipper to ever be that. The rose is soooo nice and fluid. Rose Atlantic is forward and clean without being cloying nor overbearing. There is more staying power and direct fragrance gravitas than just essential oil based perfumes, yet without the overwrought synthetics that feel overwhelming with ongoing wear which was a delight to discover. This is such a nice personal fragrance that feels beautiful, clean, and luxurious.

Royal Fern PHYTOACTIVE SKIN PERFECTING Essence — I just LOVE pressing this onto freshly cleansed skin. Firstly, an essence is a fluid that has a high concentration of plant based matter, and this uses the namesake Royal Fern extract which is an anti-pollution, anti-oxidant, and anti-inflammatory extract. It’s pretty much an instant refresh for tired skin. Now… the product that put Essences on the map is SKII’s Essence, and this one is just sooooo much better in my opinion. This contains good acids, like gluconolactones, that tame enlarged pores, manage hyperpigmentation, and soothe irritation. It also has my favorite acid, lactic acid, that helps to plump as it exfoliates. It’s one of the only acids that is exfoliating, hydrating and anti-aging. Finally the Royal Fern extract helps to overturn the effects of pollution and UV damage on the skin. And it smells so clean and fresh in a green unisex way. 

Special Note: Last time I posted a Violet Grey sale, so many of the products I recommended got excluded so I not only made these purchases successfully with the code, but also checked again prior to publishing this post. If you have your eye on anything from Augustinus Bader, I’m happy to confirm that as of this writing, their products are 20% off as well. I purchased the newly launched Augustinus Bader Eye Cream with the 20% applied.




The Nue Co Mind Energy Review: A Fragrance Supplement for Brain Fog?

What is Mind Energy?

Over the past year, countless wellness studies have indicated that people generally cite stress, sleep, and mental function as their top issues. I personally don’t think these issues just arose, I think they’ve always been there, but with the shift to conscious self-care, we’re perhaps finding the vocabulary to vocalize of these major issues.

The Nue Co. is a wellness supplement company that I’ve mentioned before as one that has continued to intrigue me. They’ve really diversified their offerings entering into skincare (my review here), and different formats for supplements including fragrance, where their original Functional Fragrance remains a favorite for me.

The Nue Co. recently launched Mind Energy, their latest fragrance that uses their patented olfactive science to activate neural pathways to help with brain fog, and mental exhaustion. Many of us probably refer to this as our 3PM slump, our mid-week burnout, but whether you have a name for it or not, I think we can all relate to having these moments where composing another email just becomes one task too many, feeling sluggish, unable to recall something you were doing, and just feeling absolutely mentally tapped out.

If you’re not familiar, The Nue Co. fragrances are made my master perfumers using their patented olfactive science. As such, their fragrances never smell like a mix of essential oils, they’re incredibly sophisticated and function not only as olfactive supplements, but actual luxury fragrances. In this case, the perfumer for Mind Energy is Stephen Nilsen, who has formulated for luxury perfume brands like Bond No.9, and Commodity. And the research comes from the Brain and Behaviour Lab at the University of Geneva that did a study of ingredient notes that activated mental energy, and stimulated the brain. A fragrance that makes your mind function better, sounds good, right? So how does it feel and perform in real life?

The Experience

The first time I sprayed Mind Energy in its inviting ruby-red bottle, I immediately thought “what does this remind me of?!” And my answer is a mix of childhood happiness, summer fruits, and bubbly beverages. Here is Mind Energy’s note composition:

Top notes: coriander seed, juniper, and pink peppercorn
Middle notes: clary sage, spearmint, peppermint, geranium, and clove leaf
Base note: cedarwood

I find the inclusion of uplifting coriander seed, soothing clary sage, and intoxicating clove leaf so beautiful and nuanced. I would describe Mind Energy as bright, fresh, enlivening, yet grounding, warm, and inviting. Think of Mind Energy as that instant zest that would totally refresh you and your senses on a long-haul international flight, that spray that just absolutely wakes you up and brightens the cabin, yet is comforting and soothing like being wrapped in your favorite soft blanket. The opening notes are so bright, fresh, and zesty, it’s almost like smelling a just peeled citrus rind (though there isn’t a citrus ingredient), and then the incredibly fresh greens come in, and eventually it eases and lulls into a soft clovy creaminess.

The entire aromatic experience of Mind Energy is delightful, and comforting. The first time I sprayed Mind Energy was in the evening after it arrived in the mail, and I remember just enjoying it. The second time was after I took a mid-day walk, and I really felt the functionality of Mind Energy kick in. All of a sudden, things just felt clearer and more open, like somehow a light that had been off was switched on. While I didn’t feel that I was in a mental fog, after spraying Mind Energy, I suddenly felt more awake and proactive. And while these feelings may differ with use and from person to person, the connection in how an application of this fragrance made this change was undeniable.

Recommendations

I recommend Mind Energy to fulfill self-care needs whether as a functional boost, or a nice treat yourself moment. Especially as we head into overcast, stay-inside weather, I think this burst of Mind Energy is the perfect antidote for mental fog. And because I work with Garçon’s World who have a great relationship with The Nue Co, we have an exclusive reader perk for 25% off all full-sized The Nue Co. Fragrances until end of month (October 31st) with the code GARCONME25.

If you want a quick run through the their fragrances, keep reading:

Functional Fragrance is the OG, and has been one of my favorite fragrances. Especially with winter approaching, I’m looking forward to using this cozy, and warm fragrance more. Functionally, it’s designed to target stress, which is one of the three big issues. It’s formulated by master perfumer Frank Voekl who is also the nose behind Glossier’s You, and most of the Le Labo range (including their cult Santal 33). I really consider this The Nue Co’s pièce de résistance, and one of the jewel products I’ve encountered.

Forest Lungs is the jungle green fragrance, designed to bring the outside in. It came out at the perfect time when we were all working from home, and staying in. The science here is to bottle the molecules that drive the calmness and happiness we derive from being in nature, called phytoncides, for stay-at-homers, and urben dwellers. This of this as Forest Bathing in a sophisticated fragrance.

Mind Energy is of course the newest fragrance that I just wrote about. It sits nicely in the collection, by focusing on the mental wellness aspect. I find it to be more energizing, and engaging. On a pure fragrance level, it also feels more youthful, with wear time sitting nicely between Functional Fragrance and Forest Lungs.

Final Thoughts

All of the fragrances from The Nue Co. use real plant ingredients, in very high concentrations, alongside scientific molecules that are derived to achieve their performance. As such, they tend to be lighter than most perfumes which is a good thing in my book. I find that lots of perfumes, even ones sold by “clean beauty retailers” can feel cloying and overbearing, but The Nue Co. generally sticks the landing in delivering effective, yet gentle fragrances. My recommendation is that if you haven’t tried any fragrances from The Nue Co. you absolutely have to get Functional Fragrance, and then I just really think Mind Energy should be experienced because it’s so different, but equally impressive.

There are only a few days left until the end of the month, so do remember to use the code GARCONME25 to get 25% off any and all full-sized fragrances from The Nue Co.

SHOP ALL FRAGRANCES HERE or SHOP MIND ENERGY HERE

HOW I LEARNED TO RELAX & LET GO: The Nue Co Destress 360 & Sleep Drops Review

Remember when we collectively shared the hope that 2021 would be a wind down from the absolute dumpster fire of 2020? Well, it feels a little bit one step forward, two steps back. Lately, between getting our new place renovated, and everything else going on, it feels like every day has been handling Murphy’s Law which posits that everything that can go wrong, will go wrong.

The Nue Co. Destress 360

So when I found out a month ago that The Nue Co. was releasing a supplement that dealt directly with stress, I was dialed in. Enter The Nue Co.’s latest release, Destress 360, an ingestible in capsule form that helps to deal with stress, and anxiety with a slew of adaptogens, nootropics, and cortisol balancing extracts. What makes the formula impactful is that it uses ingredients clinically proven to reduce everyday stress and anxiety, supporting the functions depleted by continual high stress: immunity, muscle pain, libido, sleep and focus.

From the outset I didn’t really doubt if Destress 360 would be effective, because the other releases from The Nue Co had worked so well for me. But, I didn’t know HOW it would work, or if I would even notice. I suppose I was already in my head about how to even share experiences when talking about something as intangible as stress.

Let’s just start with the basics of my experience. Destress 360 comes in a jar of 60 capsules, and you’re instructed to take 2 a day in the morning. As I’m on the conservative side with ingestible supplements, I actually started with just 1 capsule for the first three days to get a feel for it.

The capsule was easy to swallow, with no after-taste. Nor did it cause any digestive upset which some pills can cause. I didn’t feel any immediate reaction, which is good. You won’t and shouldn’t expect to feel buzzed or numbed out, as this is all about functionally dealing with stress. With that said, I did wonder how I would be able to tell if it’s working.

Then my day happened. It just so happened that through the day, Murphy’s Law took place with our home renovation, my bank alerting me that my credit card information was stolen, and freelance writing jobs that fell through. And as these things happened I didn’t feel like “oh I took a pill, and can totally handle things!” Shitty situations still feel shitty, no pill can fix that, nor should they. But what I overwhelmingly noticed was an urge to take a nap. I can’t fully explain it. I didn’t feel drowsy, but I just felt that instead of an adrenal/Fight or Flight response, I was more… “let’s step out for a minute.” Which I ended up doing. I took a nice 30 minute nap, which is a rare occurrence, and it was so restful and restorative. I woke up feeling like “okay time to sort everything out!”

By day 2-3, I noticed that the anxiety pains that I sometimes feel in the pit of my stomach subsided entirely. I’m going to be honest and maybe over share a little about why this is important to me. I know in this day and age, we all talk about being over stressed. In fact The Nue Co’s research indicates that stress is the key issue facing most people today. But for me, it’s an issue I’ve actually sought help for, starting in college when I saw a therapist for weekly visits to deal with my anxiety attacks. These attacks would get really bad when I’d have multiple coinciding deadlines for papers, midterms, interviews, that I’d feel short of breath, break into a cold sweat, and have an elevated heart beat. And they always started with that feeling at the pit of my stomach.

I have never taken anything to help handle this, and while there have been supplements meant to handle stress, I really wanted to be responsible with how I was handling my stress. Did I feel Destress 360 helped me with stress? Absolutely. I just know that in my case, it made me feel more in control of my stress, to not let it consume me. And I know… what if it’s placebo? Well, the formula does check out. Here’s what is in it:

Vitamin C & Zinc – works together to stop stress, and build the immune system while supporting the adrenal glands
Magnesium – Promotes relaxation and ease
Ashwagandha – adaptogen to help the body adjust to stress and anxiety, clinically shown to decrease cortisol, and inflammatory serum CRP
L-Theanine – a calming active derived from green tea that helps mental function, in particular creating beneficial alpha brain waves that help creativity, relaxation, and decreased anxiety
Licorice Root – levels abnormal increases in cortisol (a stress hormone), and assists with adrenal fatigue
Passionflower Extract – used for anxiety, and widely used as a calming agent prior to surgery. Used as treatment for insomnia, and stress.
Pine Bark Extract – a known anxiety and stress relief supplement particularly because it’s rich in beneficial minerals like magnesium and iron that can counter fatigue.

I really wanted to write down these ingredients individually because I feel they’re so well put together. Every ingredient is meaningful, and contributes in different yet cohesive ways to support the body through stress, hence why the supplement is called a ‘Total Body Stress Support.’ Not only is the formula impactful, but just as important, The Nue Co uses a safe approach, primarily through plant-based yet scientifically-backed ingredients that won’t create side effects, or dependency. I currently take Destress 360 on days where I feel that the extra support would be nice (hello, Mondays! And mid-week slumps), and it has been a welcomed addition.

The Nue Co. Sleep Drops

Now a major part of stress is how it can affect rest and sleep, creating a vicious cycle that is hard to overcome. This is something I’m super aware of because my parents both have difficulty with sleep, and as I get older, I have noticed my quality of sleep has gone down. As you might know from when I shared in previous posts, I have been taking The Nue Co’s Sleep Drops. And I wanted to include my thoughts in this review because I think the pairing of Destress 360 in the morning, and Sleep Drops in the evening are perfect for gentle starts to the day that stay with you throughout, and a peaceful evening.

With Sleep Drops, I noticed immediate improvement to my sleep quality from first use. Sleep Drops are dispensed via a dropper, and I take about 3/4 of the dispenser under my tongue then swallow. It is a brown liquid that tastes herbal (from the tinctures) and sweet (not from sugar, but from the vegetable glycerin). It’s not like a drowsiness inducing sleep aid, instead it is non-habit forming and simply helps to prepare the system for sleep.

I usually feel that peaceful readiness for sleep within 15 minutes of taking Sleep Drops. The first time I took it, I slept a full 8 hours without any interruption through the night. And every time I’ve taken it since, it’s been better sleep than nights that I don’t take it. Every. Single. Time. I KNOW this stuff works. And I had been using a CBD sleep drop prior that I thought was good, but comparably it is twice the price, and does not come close to achieving the results that this does.

The formula for Sleep Drops is primarily plant-based, and include:

Valerian Root Tincture: has proven sedative effects, studies show it reduces the time it takes to fall asleep and improves the duration of deep, restful sleep
Catnip Tincture: a mild sedative that is used in medical practices for insomnia and nervous exhaustion, works together with valerian root for best results
German Chamomile Flower Tincture: reduces insomnia, eases anxiety, promotes more restful sleep
Passionflower Tincture: improves sleep quality, unwinds anxiety, ideal for rest and tranquility

Final Thoughts

It’s clear why I pair Sleep Drops with Destress 360. The formulas are very complimentary to each other, and overall provide better comprehensive management of stress, reduced anxiety, better rest, and improved sleep quality using safe, yet effective plant-based actives. And the ingredients are kept concise so as to remain easily manageable for the body. Destress 360 manages all the things that happen during the day, making sure that stress does not disrupt the body, while Sleep Drops helps to just set the body for a peaceful, unwinded evening so it gets better beauty sleep. If I had to choose one, I think Destress 360 is perhaps more comprehensive, and impactful as it will no doubt help with better sleep as well in the evening. Plus, it’s an easy to swallow capsule, as opposed to an herbal tincture, which I know might not be to everyone’s taste. However, Sleep Drops retail for just $30, and will last me a long time so it’s a good value for what it can add to de-stress and resting that it’s sort of a no-brainer for me to have both in my routine.

Overall, each product has individually been very impactful to me. Together, Destress 360 during the day and Sleep Drops at night form my favorite system for day and night to target stress and anxiety. I think the formulas are well-done, and the results are gentle yet effective, and noticeable from the start. I know that in these times, stress and sleep are intertwined, and it’s no surprise that they’re both major issues right now for so many. You all know that I work with Garçon’s World, who have a terrific relationship with The Nue Co, so I an happy to share an exclusive offer for 30% off Destress 360 (normally retails for $55) when you use the code GWDS30. It will end on July 31st, so do be prompt if you want to get this for 30% off.

My Review of The Nue Co’s Barrier Culture 3-Step Skincare System

Okay, so technically The Nue Co did not just introduce a full 3-step system: one product, The Pill, was released a few months ago, but the recent launch of their Barrier Culture duo of the cleanser and moisturizer, completes a very streamlined, and cohesive 3-step routine. Also, I’m not entirely sure if supplement brand The Nue Co would even frame their 3-step skincare system as skincare, as all the verbiage on the products categorizes them as “topical skin supplements,” an approach I like, but for real-world use, this system is functionally a 3-step skincare routine.

The Nue Co Topical Skin Supplement System (L-R): Barrier Culture Cleanser; The Pill; Barrier Culture Moisturizer

One of the chief reasons The Nue Co’s new releases and overall skincare system appealed to me is their approach to skin through a supplemental approach and their focus on supporting the skin barrier for skin health. With the rise in advocacy of isolated active ingredients like acids, vitamin C, and retinols, we have seen increases in skin damage and overall sensitivity. There are so many influencers who aggressively hopped onto the acid toning train who then had to take time off from beauty blogging because they had messed up their skin. The Nue Co’s focus on not only gentle solutions (all products are fragrance-free, no added coloring, with clean formulas that don’t have ingredients that don’t need to be there), but on actual barrier support is a timely and necessary take, and I like the direction they’re taking the conversation on skin health. Besides barrier support being equated to healthier skin, barrier supporting products also help keep the skin protected and managed from what The Nue Co estimates can amount up to 90% of skin issues including environmental pollution, and UV damage.

I’ve covered The Pill in a previous post. But just a quick refresher: The Pill is the toner/serum step in one with a very gentle but effective acid complex, vitamins, and KBeauty inspired botanicals that aim to tackle the three common skin areas: exfoliation, hydration, and anti-inflammation. It fits perfectly as step 2 of this 3-step system. So let’s look at the two new products that make up the Barrier Culture: the cleanser and the moisturizer.

The Nue Co Barrier Culture Cleanser ($42 for 120ml)


The Nue Co Barrier Culture Cleanser is a very calming gel textured cleanser that aims to repair the skin barrier, and it contains pre-biotics, pro-biotics, and postbiotics, which are renowned for their support of the microbiome. This cleanser offers deep cleansing, and is “anti-stripping” as it contains no alcohol, soap, or sulfates. Firstly, Barrier Culture Cleanser reminds me of a cross between the Cetaphil Gentle Cleanser and Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser (which might be my favorite skincare product from Glossier), both cult cleansers that are renowned for being gentle and pretty much agreeable for all skin types. The Nue Co’s Barrier Culture Cleanser is just as gentle, forming no foam at all, instead just forming a nice slip around the skin that makes it feel clean, but assuredly not stripped. Something interesting I noticed is how well it removed the sunscreen and overall buildup that even some more powerful feeling foamy cleansers would often miss. This cleanser gets that residue every single time without fail, almost like it just collects it and just easily rinses off. It just seems to go deeper than normal cleansers without feeling any aggressiveness at all.

I’m super impressed by this efficacy. Not only do the pre-pro-post biotics help the skin barrier and microbiome, the formula is also pH-balanced, and free of the aforementioned alcohols/soaps/sulfates. I also have to say, the bottle and pump are quite generously sized and just feel super nice. I feel like it can easily last a few months, which is good because I felt that my skin improved as I kept using this which is a sure sign that it is in fact improving my skin’s microbiome and skin barrier. I have been so impressed at how much this gets, how it performs as a first AND second cleanse without ever leaving my skin feeling stripped. It’s worked really well and reliably as my only cleansing step.

The Nue Co Barrier Culture Moisturizer ($65 for 50ml)

The Nue Co Barrier Culture Moisturizer is a dream because it’s exactly the type of moisturizer I was looking for after falling love with their toner/serum, The Pill. The Pill just does so much, that the last thing I wanted as a follow-up was a heavy moisturizer that might take it off, move it around, or smother its performance. Yet my skin still does better with something after that serum step to keep tightness and dryness at bay. Barrier Culture Moisturizer is a light, breathable gel-cream that is beyond soft. All moisturizers are a balancing act between thicker occlusion and actual hydration, and this leans more on the hydration side while still giving just the right bit of occlusion that gives skin just enough support without impairing serums or feeling weighed down. I really feel that The Nue Co spent a lot of time getting the texture of this just right. Similar to the cleanser, Barrier Culture Moisturizer also contains microbiome/barrier supporting pre-pro-post biotics. However, there’s more, this moisturizer also contains ceramides, niacinamide, squalane, peptides, and soothing plant extracts like calendula, cica, and chamomile that help moisturize, repair, and rebuild.

While writing this review, I realized: Barrier Culture Moisturizer might be my current favorite moisturizer, and the fact that it’s in a pump (super hygienic, and shows it indeed has a lighter texture) earns it bonus points. While the formula also doesn’t contain added fragrance, there is a faint smell of the natural mix of calendula, cica and chamomile that most will not pick up unless they have a really heightened sense of smell. If you don’t like fragrance, this should not be concerning as it’s super light (on a scale from 0-10, with 10 being a Caudalie face mist and 0 being Cetaphil’s cleanser, this is a 0.2-0.3), but if you are able to pick up on this super subtle scent, it feels pretty nice even though it disappears quickly. Performance-wise, although the Barrier Culture Moisturizer is light and quick absorbing, being more of a gel than a cream, it is sufficient and the perfect weight in my book for anyone who just wants that ideal hit of support without overweighing their skin or competing with their serums. If you’re like me, and use (sometimes multiple) serums, then you know that those serums/oils tend to work best with a moisturizer that… lets them live, if that makes sense. This is that perfect option that leaves my skin happy, never feeling tight or dry, while also never causing congestion or greasiness. Barrier Culture Moisturizer creates the perfect naked rested skin complexion, and delivers a gel-cream that is hands down the perfect texture and feel.

Final Thoughts

I really like The Nue Co’s approach to their skincare, or topical skin supplements. The products are multifaceted, and focus on the holistic health of the skin. The products themselves worked well, and delivered on all fronts, functioning superbly as a cleanser and as a moisturizer, respectively, with gentle, barrier supporting performance being key. My skin felt calm, soothed, and relaxed. They’re super easy to integrate, and there isn’t a learning curve because the products are made for simplicity and versatility. I especially like to do the full Nue Co routine on alternate days from when I use things like acids or retinols, where I’m giving my skin a break, but also want to make sure I’m helping my skin be healthy and repairing/healing it well.

All three products are designed to work in a streamlined system, with the Barrier Culture duo shown to address over 90% of skin issues on their own. So I definitely like following through this system in its entirety. However, even without a full routine from The Nue Co, each selection works really well in its own right. As a contributor on Garçon’s World, I do have a pretty massive 30% off discount code for you if you do make a purchase from The Nue Co. Just use the code: BC30GARCONS. I’m not entirely sure when the coupon expiresThe coupon was set to expire end of the weekend, but The Nue Co saw the response and decided to extend it to the end of month April 30th!

You can head here to pick up the Barrier Culture before the coupon BC30GARCONS expires or products are sold out.

My Bedside Edit: Skincare and Wellness

Lately I’ve been centering my routine around restfulness and peacefulness. It feels like a lot of the uneasy energy from 2020 hasn’t quite dissipated, so I’m being more mindful in my routines to look at how I can promote a more conducive environment to unwind. My bedside is a place I spent some time editing. I first removed any gadgets that might blink their lights in the middle of the night. Then I reduced clutter until I just had a purposeful yet thoughtful selection of bedside essentials.

Skincare: Retinol, PM Serum, and Eye Mask

Let’s start with skincare! My PM routine is where I like to apply powerful products that can work on my skin overnight. Apparently night time is the best time for skin healing and repair, so reserved for this time is my current retinol of choice, the reintroduction of a holy grail PM serum, and gel eye patches which have become my new nighttime addiction.

African Botanics Retinal Night Cream: I love African Botanics, and tend to have at least 2-3 products from them in my skincare rotation at any time. Many of you know I’ve been on a kick for high-performance retinols, and I knew that African Botanics Retinal Night Cream would not disappoint. Although called a ‘night cream,’ it really works as a retinol serum rather than as a moisturizer. It is described as an “ultra-strength Vitamin A,” and contains actual retinol in the form of 0.1% encapsulated retinaldehyde. Retinaldehyde only needs one conversion in the skin to retinoic acid, the active retinol, whereas traditional retinol needs two. This means faster and more effective results with less chance of redness and irritation. Further, because African Botanics is known to provide a buffet of beautiful actives, the Retinal Night Cream also contains Vitamin C, Peptides, Niacinimide, CoQ10 — all superstars in the skincare world in their own right, along with signature African Botanics oils like Marula, and Kalahari Melon oil that help to keep skin moisturized and soothed, especially from the effects of retinol.

I initially wondered if the powerful combination of actives might be too much for my skin, as Retinol, Vitamin C, Niacinimide are each active in their own right, though they’re also known to work well together. I was pleased to find that the formula, while impactful, did not cause irritation; it is totally a case of high performance with little to no down time (no redness, nor stinging). The light yellowish cream absorbs quickly and because it is feeding my skin so many great ingredients, I don’t really feel the need for face oils or other serums. I also like to have the retinol serums work more on their own any way for full impact. Unlike other African Botanics products that have the luxurious fragrance, this is fragrance-free because it is obvious that they just wanted to focus on the performance. It is still a luxurious feeling cream with amazing ingredients and results, but it’s clear that everything in this formula is made to make it a full-on performance beast. I currently use it every other night in my routine, not because it is sensitizing, but because I like to rotate my retinol for best results and give my skin an overall offering of diversified actives. On the other nights, I use…

YULI Cell Perfecto PM: My initial post about this product still remains my most read blog post (remember when I started back in the days on Tumblr?). Cell Perfecto PM will always reserve an indelible place in my skincare holy grail tier of products because it made such a significant impact on my skin, there is a line in my skincare history defined as pre-Cell Perfecto PM and post-Cell Perfecto PM. I had tried every product for acne scars but none come close to this in delivering such meaningful improvement, to a degree that I did not expect from a skincare product. I no longer need this as much because my skin has improved, which is really the best testament — but I still like the benefits that I get from this corrective serum. Even without apparent acne scars, I find that Cell Perfecto PM helps with areas of my skin that appear a blotchy or uneven, like a real life Photoshop airbrush tool.

If you’re familiar with the YULI approach, you’ll know they make the most advanced custom formulas with tailor-made, cutting-edge actives. I think what makes them standout next to super high performance lines is their approach which goes beyond putting in the standard actives. There is a whole lot of thought behind how the actives should be working, so you’ll see really interesting use of ingredients and unique formulas meant to almost reinvent the approach. The ingredients in Cell Perfecto PM for instance contains complexion actives like Vitamin C (in the potent THC form), Bearberry, and Liquorice, which brighten skin and repel accumulation of melanin; then there are unexpected highlights like Reishi, Pine Lignin, and Gotu Kola, which help with skin repair and healing from damage; where your head might start to spin is upon seeing their exclusives that go beyond anything in the market like their Sea Minerals and Renew Minerals Complex (a lot of science here but what you need to know is they have a mineral technology using actives like zinc that lock onto damaged tissues, primary scar tissue, to correct and rehabilitate them), along with L-Arginine, an amino acid that shortens healing time and repairs damaged collagen structures (scar tissue), and L-gluconic Acid which controls keratinization processes (most acne scars have improper keratinization) and restores damaged skin. This formula is super power-packed, and my skin often looks brighter and more even by the next morning. Also, speaking of nighttime, the formula is not photo-sensitizing, but is a PM serum because the formula works in synergy with the skin’s rejuvenation system that works mostly as we sleep helping to overturn skin damage and deliver those transformative results. Hands down, game-changing night worker.

Patchology Flashpatch Restoring Night Eye Gels: I’m at the age where an eye cream is a non-negotiable, and I’ve come to accept that. However, what I’m noticing is that there are times when I just feel like something more is necessary. And that is when I reach for these convenient eye gels from Patchology that seem to be made for exactly this situation. The eye gels are naturally very occlusive and provide a natural boost to the thin, delicate skin around the eyes. Besides a direct infusion of needed moisture to the tired and more frail under-eye area (one of the only places on the face that doesn’t produce its own sebum), these eye gels also contain power actives like Retinol and Peptides to help with cell turnover, fine lines, wrinkles at night; and Pine Leaf Extract and Purslane which are powerful antioxidants and can help reduce dark circles. You might also recognize Purslane as the signature ingredient in all of Dr. Barbara Sturm’s astronomically priced skincare formulas, so you know this Patchology formula is legit. These gels come with a scooper for hygiene and are inside two caps to help retain their moisture. Once I put them on, they have a nice immediate cooling and moisturizing feel on the skin, and the gel starts to feel like second skin as it dries. Based on the fact that the eye gels actually thin out, I think the eyes actually absorb a lot of the gel and serum, which means its working.

I use these about 2-3 times a week as a power up for my eyes. I’ll admit to leaving them on for longer than the recommended 15 minutes. I make sure the fluid is all absorbed, pat, then wait about 2 more minutes. I notice that my eyes feel better, and creeping fine lines fade substantially and remain gone for days after. This has become a go to when I just need that extra kick in my eye routine.

Wellness: Room Spray, Pillow Spray, and Throat Spray

Besides skincare, I also like to make sure my bedroom is conducive to rest, and recovery. Lately, I’ve found that fragrance has a deep connection to wellness.

The Nue Co Functional Fragrance – Home Room Spray: I’ve been raving about The Nue Co’s Functional Fragrance, and their room spray is just as good as the personal fragrance, if not better, because it works on such a larger area as a background character, which is how I prefer fragrances to work. I think if you’re the type that doesn’t love wearing fragrance, but can appreciate their therapeutic effects, The Nue Co’s Functional Fragrance room spray will be just the thing for you. The scent is similar to the personal fragrance: warm, calming, and cozy, and the big bottle feels grand to have around. The Functional Fragrance is an “anti-stress” supplement because the scent notes are scientifically associated with lowering stress and anxiety based on studies with the Brain and Behavioral Health team from the University of Geneva.

Unlike traditional room fragrances, the Functional Fragrance leans toward more of natural fragrance formula that uses genuine plant notes to deliver the connected anti-stress results, and the formula is designed by the same perfumer behind Le Labo’s Santal 33 and Glossier’s You, so trust me, it’s exquisite. I particularly love the notes of Green Cardamom, and Cedarwood which make the room and overall atmosphere feel relaxed and “lived in.” I like to spray the Functional Fragrance throughout the day especially if I end up writing or binging a show in bed, and I always do a few sprays 3 hours before bedtime so it leaves just the right crisp dry down as we prepare for bed as a subtle atmospheric scent to promote relaxation and lift away stress.

REN Skincare & Now To Sleep Pillow Spray: While The Nue Co’s Functional Fragrance is an anti-stress fragrance that relaxes and unwinds, this spray is an actual sleep aid that does the trick in delivering beauty sleep. When it comes time to drift off and catch my zzzzz’s, I spray my pillows with REN’s & Now to Sleep Pillow Spray, which is the perfect addition to any night routine. As a fragrance with an entirely natural essential oil composition, it won’t overwhelm. The spray is not designed like a fragrance, it won’t last and is more something that will gradually subside as it lulls you into deeper sleep. That is why it’s a pillow spray, meant for closer contact for aromatherapy benefits. Although I love fragrance, I am very much sensitive to smells, so I was conservative at first, but now spray about 5 times per pillow. It smells so relaxing, with a pleasing blend of hops, lavender, and frankincense, which combine to provide a sedative quality. This helps me drift off to sleep much quicker, and with better, deeper sleep quality. Also, bottle of this will last AGES.

Biocol Something for a Cactus Throat Spray: In college I took a class on evolutionary anthropology and learned that all species have a “weak point,” and for humans, it is the neck/throat. This might explain why if I’ve been more extroverted than usual (hello Zoom gatherings!), my throat easily feels a little raw, and also why sometimes I get that dreaded “morning cold” where it feels weird or even uncomfortable to swallow. I never really thought there was anything that could be done about it, but on a whim I decided to try Biocol’s Something for a Cactus Throat Spray, a plant-based fix made to address these exact issues. The formula contains propolis, lemon, Icelandic moss, and copper. It tastes exactly how the ingredients make it sound, sort of like a liquid Ricola. Unlike a lozenge, I can immediately feel the spray take effect. Biocol’s Something for a Cactus Throat Spray is anti-inflammatory and soothes my throat, I really feel it work right away. My partner even takes a few sprays if he’s on back to back work calls and it helps his vocal stamina so he doesn’t sound hoarse. Most importantly, I use it in the mornings if I’m feeling the ‘morning cold,’ and I find that it takes care of the ‘cactus throat’ feeling each time. Biocol is a pretty quirky line that is both fun and yet highly scientific. I recommend anyone looking for functional, well made, and amusing products to check this one out, Something for a Cactus Throat Spray might also be one of my favorite product names.


Drop me a comment if you’ve used any of these products, and let me know what your bedside essentials are!

The Nue Co’s The Pill REVIEW & 30% OFF CODE

The Topical Supplement

The Nue Co. landed on our radar in their first year of release as a brand to watch. Their combination of Doctor-meets-supermodel aesthetic, innovative products, and high quality formulas have won us over. The Pill is their latest product. It’s a topical supplement, designed as an all-in-one serum. While most supplement companies stick to ingestibles, The Nue Co. has ventured past those boundaries before to great results. Their anti-stress Functional Fragrance is one of our hands down favorite fragrances (and beauty product in general). Suffice it to say, our bottle of Functional Fragrance has not gone through a day without use in 2020. So we were excited to put The Pill through its paces.

Keep reading to find out more about this topical supplement approach. We also worked out a special for our readers as we’ve been encouraging everyone to try this line. From now until Thanksgiving, use the code BFGARCON30 to receive a whopping 30% off site wide on The Nue Co.

What does it do? What’s in it?

The Pill is an all-in-one serum. Its texture is light and fast absorbing, and the semi-opaque gel sinks into the skin without any residue or stickiness. The formula contains 27 non-toxic ingredients ranging from the scientific (AHAs, Hyaluronic Acid, Sodium PCA) to the natural (Bilberry Extract, Tiger Grass, Kakadu Plum Extract).

The Pill offers many benefits. They’re focused in three main areas that are quite universal:

Hydration: Hyaluronic Acid, Glycerin, Sodium PCA, Water Lily Extract, and Galactoarabinan all boost the skin’s NMF (natural moisture factors), prevent TEWL (trans-epidermal water loss), and give skin that comfortable, plumped moisturized feeling.

Anti-inflammatory: Because it’s one of the key causes of all skin issues, The Nue Co. focused on targeting inflammation with topical CBD (the ingredient of the moment and a known anti-inflammation powerhouse), and plant-derived Isoamyl Laurate which actually creates a refined velvet-smooth skin texture.

Brighten and Exfoliate: Acid toning is in and The Pill uses a full spectrum of plant-derived AHAs and skin resurfacers like passion fruit, sugarcane, and pineapple derived Lactic, Glycolic, Citric, Malic, and Tartaric Acids which is one of the most complete offering of acids we’ve seen in a product. Each acid works in different ways, some are good for brightening, others for breaking through dead skin cells, so it’s good to have this diversity. While it might seem like The Pill contains acid overload, fret not — many of these fruit acids (like Citric, Malic, and Tartaric acid) are much gentler than their acid-toner counterparts, and are ideal for sensitive skin. Besides acids, there’s also Tiger Grass, which is used in Korean skincare for brightening and pigmentation.

We reserved The Pill for nighttime use, like we do with all products with AHAs. However you can absolutely use this serum in the day with a good SPF.

Results

Despite dropping temperatures, our skin always felt like they were hitting the KBeauty Glass Skin goals. Our skin feels bouncier and just healthier in general, while the complexion is more even and radiant.

We were initially skeptical that a single product could be so multifaceted. Yet The Pill‘s formula just works. The acids help brighten and refresh the skin, and we’ve noticed less “dry patches” and congestion even around T-zones. This work is all done subtly without the slightest of tingling nor redness, due to the presence of excellent anti-inflammatories and hydration powerhouses that calm, and strengthen the skin. The Nue Co. took the time to work out the layering in this formula to make this a streamlined one-step serum solution, and we agree that it works.

Because The Pill packs everything, there isn’t a need for acid toners, nor other serums. Just give it 2 minutes to work into the skin (perfect for brushing your teeth). If your skincare philosophy is more is more, this is gentle enough to play well with others including Vitamin C. The Pill will work with any skincare approach.

How to buy

A 30ml bottle of The Pill retails for $85 will last you for a while, probably 2-3 months. For a serum that ticks all the boxes, streamlines the routine, and does the job of many serums, this is a great value. We’d compare it to products like Vintner’s Daughter Active Treatment Essence and UBeauty Resurfacing Compound which retail for 2.5x-3x the price, without delivering the impressive real world benefits that The Pill has.

We’ve said before that The Nue Co. is a brand that makes incredibly innovative and interesting products that everyone should try. To make it easier, we’ve been in touch with The Nue Co. directly to offer you a special 30% off code: BFGARCON30.

Here’s our take: The Pill (and the Functional Fragrance) are no-brainers that should be added to cart immediately. For a full inner and outer skin duo, we’d also suggest adding Skin Filter, with beta carotene, Vitamin C, and minerals as an ingestible counterpart to The Pill. But even if you have your eyes on something else, our code, BFGARCON30 is not exclusive to The Pill, and works site wide!


$85 for 30ml at The Nue Co., use code BFGARCON30 for 30% off site wide until November 24th.

The Nue Co: Brand Overview & Review


The Nue Co. is a brand that appealed to me right away. Their branding is described as a “scientist had sex with a supermodel,” as they’re a hybrid between scientific and stylish, with products backed by data rather than cutesy millennial-speak (Moon Juice/Golde) or esoteric Santa Monica hipster (…we all know), and they’re always packaged in standard amber bottles but with very distinctive, eye-catching design language that is simultaneously understated, minimalist and sophisticated. Gradually I started amassing a collection of their products and having spent time with them to varying extents, I’ll review the products one by one, then a general summary of the line.

The Nue Co Debloat Food + Prebiotic

This was the first product I picked up from them. What I liked was how clear and purposeful the product was, and I appreciated the straightforwardness that this was just a treatment designed for digestion. Since turning over to the latter part of my mid-20s, I do notice things like metabolism slowing down and sometimes it feels like my dinner just sits without being processed which makes me feel kind of gross when I go to bed at night, so I thought this would be perfect.

What I noticed upon the first impression is how “bare” the product was — although the packaging and design language are quite stunning, the formula is very bare-bones and this literally looks and feels like scooping up a spoonful of spices. You can tell that there REALLY isn’t anything put in for the taste and the 5 ingredient list of maqui fruit powder, cinnamon powder, ginger root powder, turmeric powder, and inulin are really all there is. It sounds kind of like “well no shit, that’s all that is listed” but you know.. I kind of imagined the ingredients might somehow look, taste, or feel like something I couldn’t just mix at home in my own kitchen given how sleek and damn-near Aesop-like the branding was… but nope this felt like what would happen if I threw in those powders myself.

Results: the spices are warming and they do move things along so I do think it works. But I tried my own DIY of cinnamon and turmeric with shavings of fresh ginger I had in my kitchen, and it worked just as well? So I was a bit let down at the kind of DIY-ness of it all, but I chalked it up to the brand going a little too far with embracing a purist mentality on this one product. So I decided to explore more rather than write-off the entire line.

The Nue Co Skin Food + Prebiotic

I purchased this with their Skin Filter pills when The Nue Co really leaned into their internal skincare supplement rollouts in late 2019. This convinced me that when it comes to powder-supplements, The Nue Co takes a very minimal approach in general as it is also just 5 ingredients as well: inulin, lucuma, baobab, camu camu, brown rice protein. Inulin is in this and the previous supplement, so I thought it might be helpful to let you know that a quick google shows this is a type of plant-derived dietary fiber. The primary benefit of this supplement is collagen-production from Vitamin C contained in the 3 plants. Which when I thought about it seemed like a lot of work to take an additional supplement for what is really just Vitamin C?

I mean this delivers a 122% daily value of Vitamin C, which is key for collagen so I don’t doubt that it works,  but geez… an entire step/product just for this. And the taste is… sour and tart. I suggest either gulping this down without letting it hit your tastebuds or sweetening it with honey. I’m not someone who needs things to taste great, but wow is this sour. The first time I tried it with my fiance and we immediately had the signature Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen “prune” face.

I think the science is there, Vitamin C has been shown to be better than direct collagen supplements for building collagen in the skin. Camu Camu is renowned for its Vitamin C. But the actual user experience leaves a lot to be desired with this product.

The Nue Co Skin Filter

What’s interesting about Skin Filter is that it’s actually in pill form and contains 11 ingredients which for The Nue Co, is a lot, and it makes it feel less DIY and more of a true supplement. So how is this a skin filter? Reading more into the product literature, we’re essentially told to think of this as ingestible retinol. Retinol is the anti-aging powerhouse of the skincare world and this delivers 50% Daily Value of Vitamin A from beta-carotene, alongside Vitamin C, and zinc, which is said to help with collagen degradation, control melanin production and improve microcirculation to give improved elasticity, reduce blemishes, and brighten the skin.

I took this daily for 1 month (the full bottle), and did feel that my skin felt firmer and tauter especially around my cheeks and jawline. You know sometimes when you lose water weight or you’ve been eating right, working out and your face just seems to have some angles and your skin just looks prettier? That’s how I felt using this. I really loved the results with my first bottle/first month and will be ordering another bottle when we are in the Spring/Summer months as part of the benefit of this is also to protect against sun damage.

The difference between Skin Filter and the previous Skin Food to me is that whereas Skin Food felt like almost a superfluous step, needlessly complicating a routine with a DIY formula, this felt impactful with a more scientific, clinical formula that offers a more comprehensive set of benefits for the skin. So although the two products are a bit different, I know most of you are not looking to purchase a number of products to go through every morning so I’d definitely recommend Skin Filter as your go-to skin supplement in the line.

 

The Nue Co Functional Fragrance

I was excited about the Functional Fragrance, the moment this product launched. I love fragrance but have such a hard time with most as I have such sensitivity toward synthetic fragrance – in fact, many brands carried at Credo such as Ellis Brooklyn and Phlur are no-go’s for me as they still get nauseating after a while of wear for me. There isn’t true clarity in the fragrance industry with clean and non-clean ingredients, mainly because there isn’t a requirement for disclosure of ingredients when it comes to perfumes so beyond general ingredients like phthalates that we know to avoid, it’s impossible to tell what actually is and is not in a “clean perfume” as they all talk about using “natural ingredients.” I was quite excited about this because it’s functional fragrance and I’m a huge believer in the potential of fragrance to improve wellbeing if the ingredients used were clean, so I had high hopes for this.

I think The Nue Co is quite original with their approach and applaud them for approaching wellness from a new angle with fragrances. This is marketed as an anti-stress supplement, linking scent with cognition to help re-center and reset in the form of a unisex fragrance. It was formulated by a legendary perfumer, Frank Voelki, and you can really tell that this is a really serious fragrance product. The layers of green cardamom, iris, violet, palo santo, jasmine, cedarwood, musk, amber are all quite elegant and complex. It smells grounding, and rich, like lulling your senses to sleep in soft suede and silk sheets. It’s also luxurious enough to be worn as a daily perfume if desired but I just love it around the 5PM-6PM mark when the day transitions to a quieter, more intimate pace.

I don’t believe all of the ingredients are completely natural (e.g. there isn’t a natural plant musk ingredient), but the formula is 100% vegan and non-toxic. More importantly, it hits my itch for a luxurious fragrance and the functional component is a wonderful bonus.


There are definitely some hits and misses for me with The Nue Co, but I’m excited to see what is next for the brand and count myself as a fan. Although at times some of the products (the powders) were a bit too simplistic for my liking (and for the price point), the brand as a whole is undeniably inventive and execute things well from the presentation and branding elements to the results, and their newer products have been especially captivating – you can’t go wrong starting at the Functional Fragrance. If you’ve tried anything from The Nue Co, leave your thoughts in the comments.