April 25, 2017

Visiting North Carolina with Burt's Bees

I've been a long time fan of the Burt's Bees brand. Even though not everything in my beauty arsenal is natural, I do try to use as many natural products as possible - and have a trust in Burt's Bees commitment to products that are both nourishing for your skin and ethically produced. Because I also have so many allergies and sensitivities to different topical products, relying on Burt's Bees to always be free of petrolatum and parabens is a big weight off my shoulders as I navigate the beauty aisle, (if you want the nitty gritty on stats - their products are made with an average of 99% natural and the packaging is often recyclable and made with post-consumer recycled content, while over half of the products are 100% natural). When the brand launched their line of lipsticks last year, I jumped on the opportunity to add the 18 colors to my makeup bag, 4 shades of which are new to the lineup this year. They're so smooth, wear beautifully throughout the day, are super hydrating, and surprisingly versatile (I shared here how I also use the lip colors as blush and contour - hello, major life hack!)

So a few weeks ago, when Burt's Bees invited me down to North Carolina to get a closer look at how everything gets made, formulated, packaged, and distributed around the globe - I wanted to know more! I want to note here that because their headquarters is in North Carolina, home of the infamous bathroom bills, it was crucial for me to first get an understanding of the culture within their home offices. Burt's Bees has in the past done initiatives around Pride (how cute is this pride pack of lip balms?), supported GLSEN, an organization that advocates for LGBTQ youth, and I wanted to know their position as a company on the issue. I was relieved to learn that alongside all their other social consciousness initiatives in the brand, that they have a specific gender affirming policy within the company, standing behind diversity and inclusion and against any act or institutionalization of discrimination, public or private. This was something that honestly made me even more proud of working with the company and being a fan of their products for so many years. So with that, I set out to pack my bags and get to know their teams more intimately.  One of my biggest curiosities in the whole fashion and beauty world is knowing the ins-and-outs of How Things Get Made. Getting the chance to speak to a chemist about the ways they formulate products, or understanding the thought process behind packaging design, speaks to the nerdiest of my sensibilities.

Because Burt's Bees products are almost entirely natural and lack the conventional chemicals typically used in most commercial beauty products, their lab is completely open. New products are created, tested, and formulated right in the middle of their office - and most of the ingredients are things you might also find in your kitchen pantry. Because the recipes are so safe, we got a chance to mix our own batches of lip balms using their signature blend of ingredients and mixing our own colors together! I, of course, went for a pretty soft pink. 

Their HQ is right in downtown Durham, and we landed in Fearrington Village for the trip, where we tested out newer additions to the product lines (my latest obsession is their Tinted Lip Oils, a sheer pigmented, nourishing oil with a hint of nonsticky glossiness. It's perfect for the 90s influence all around lately and for keeping lips hydrated throughout the day). We also had mini-facials (I need to use this as an opportunity to plug their Complete Nourishing Facial Oil, a blend of rosehip, jojoba, and primrose oils that promote healing), had an aura color reading, and enjoyed the nature around Fearrington Village with leisurely bike rides, hikes, and farm to table meals.

I had so much fun getting to meet the people behind the products, getting more familiar with the new additions to the lineup, and of course - learning all about the honeybees that help produce so many of the things we rely on in our daily lives (including a third of our natural food supply!) 

Wearing: Fame & Partners Dress, WhoWhatWear x Target Denim Jacket, Cult of Gaia Ark Bag, Poppy Lissiman Sunglasses, Kate Spade Heels  

My trip and this post is sponsored by Burt's Bees.
All content and opinions are my own. 

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