Follain, a skin care, hair care, and cosmetics store, is opening a holiday pop-up store November 1 through December 31 at 50 Central St., the former Twig location. The shop, which also has locations in Boston’s South End and on Nantucket, is known for its made-in-the-US ethos and highly curated approach to the product lines the owner allows to grace the shelves.
A quick look at my own bathroom shelves, uncurated and without much of an ethos at all, made me wonder what shop owner Tara Foley, who holds an MBA from Wellesley’s own Babson College, would have to say about the 3 things I currently never leave the house in the morning without using:
Yardley lavender soap
Scent: Jimmy Choo (the perfume is so much easier to walk in than the shoes, I’ve found)
Foley, who looks like one of those effortless, sleek, French brunettes, broke the bad news to me gently. Turns out the Yardley soap was the least offensive of the three. Its worst crime is drying out my skin with sodium hydroxide and sulfates, which aren’t lethal ingredients, they’re just cheap ingredients. She recommended I try the shop’s Saipua-brand soap in a nice lemon geranium scent, made with an olive oil base and real lemon and geranium.
The real criminal in my beauty routine, according to Foley, is the L’Oreal cleanser. Without even looking at the label, she told me that one of the first ten ingredients was sodium laureth sulfate, which according to the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database is a “moderate hazard” that has been linked to cancer, neurotoxicity, organ toxicity, skin irritation and endocrine disruption. Yikes. That bad? OK, maybe I will try that best-selling Shamanuti cleanser . At $28 for 4 ounces, it’s a bit more expensive than the L’Oreal, but heck, I’m worth it.
Last on the list of my personal top three was the perfume. But although the shop does carry scents with mysterious names like Lurk and Dreaming Oil, and maybe they are more natural than what I’m currently dousing myself in, the Jimmy Choo will have to stay. I keep trying a different sort of fanciness every time I reach empty on that pretty bottle, but I always go crawling back to Mr. C.
Foley preaches safety and effectiveness in her products, which to her means, in part, staying away from product lines that have an endless list of unpronounceable ingredients. She even has a Director of Health and Safety on staff, Holly Moore, who is tasked with making sure each product passes a screening test before it’s even considered a candidate for the shelves. The aesthetics of the the store are an essential part of the shopping experience as well. Look for the new store’s decor to be light and bright with lots of gleaming copper and a super-clean feel to it.
Follain joins local shops Beauty and Main, also on Central St.; The Candy Bar on Church St.; and my personal favorite, CVS in Linden Square, in helping keep Wellesley so pretty.