La Vita é Bella

Who doesn't adore natural oils? So pure, so precious, so effective at healing, strengthening and nourishing skin; they're an essential, must-have, non-negotiable part of my skin care routine. Which is why I got completely weak-kneed over the amazing skin and hair oils from La Bella Figura.

Victoria and Karen, the fabulous ladies behind the handmade, Chicago-based brand, swore that I would love their oils and sent me a few samples to test for myself. After checking out the ingredient lists online, I was excited. But I wasn't prepared for how luxurious these oil blends would feel and smell.

The standout product is Découverte Under Eye Repair Serum, a roll-on oil for the eye area. Découverte has an argan oil base (like all La Bella Figura Products), but its second ingredient is barbary fig seed oil, one of the most expensive oils in the world, which is starting to attract attention for its rich concentration of antioxidants and vitamin E. La Bella Figura is ahead of the game on this one. Other oils in the blend include rose hip seed (healing for mature and damaged skin), coffee bean oil (puffiness-reducing), blue tansy flower oil (anti-inflammatory), and helichrysum oil (healing, dark circle-reducing). This serum feels amazing when rolled on around the eyes, and it doesn't dry tight like some anti-aging eye products.

I also tested the brand's Bohemia Verde Aromatic Hair Elixir, an oil blend that worked really well as both a pre-shampoo treatment and a shine/styling product (it smells amazing either way), and Tesoro Mediterranean Blend, a gentle, soothing face oil blend with a strikingly beautiful scent (think fennel-citrus-bergamot) that my skin appears to love. I'm even hooked on La Bella Figura's La Curacio lip balm (can they do no wrong?!) and its tangerine-vanilla-ginger essential oil combo.

These products are definitely a splurge, but the quality of the natural oils and the elegance of the formulations justify the price. And because you only use a few drops at once, one ounce (or even half of an ounce) will last a long time.  If you haven't yet fallen love with oils in your skin care routine, these will make you a convert!

I was so inspired by the brand that I had to ask owner Victoria Fantauzzi of La Bella Figura to talk a little more about natural products and beauty in her life:

  • Jolene:  Tell me about your favorite La Bella Figura product.

Victoria: I really enjoy the Tesoro-Mediterranean Blend [skin oil]. It is scented beautifully and reminds me of a vacation in the Costa Brava in Spain. I used to have combination skin and the blend has balanced this issue out and my skin has never looked more clear or glowing.  It actually prevents and fights blemishes!

  • J: Do you have a favorite natural skin care ingredient?

V: Growing up my Grandmother would heal everything with a spoonful of olive oil.  She thought it was silly to buy expensive skincare creams or shampoos when olive oil could cure, heal, shine, enhance, and 'give you a strong heart.'  I have a weakness for quality olive oil. I'm also a big fan of extra virgin coconut oil.  I make a great exfoliator with a coconut cream base that I use once a week.

  • J: What's your must-have beauty food?

V: My must have beauty food are barbary figs (also called prickly pear).  Eating one barbary fig right before bed is my secret weapon for fighting dull skin and puffy eyes. They are full of betalains, which helps reduce inflammation and is a powerful antioxidant.  They taste like a cross between raspberries and watermelon.  The tiny seeds from the figs are cold pressed for barbary fig seed oil, which we use in our under eye repair serum to tackle puffy eyes.  If you haven't tried them you have to and eat them at night to wake up to gorgeous skin.  I buy them at a fruit market in Chicago, but this summer I saw them at Whole Foods and was pretty excited they are making their way into the American diet.

  • J: Tell me about the beauty ritual that you most enjoy.

V: My favorite ritual involves my niece Bella.  She is only 9, but we have been teaching her to take care of her skin and body with natural products.  We make our own gentle exfoliators with a super seed mix, honey and coconut cream and then we slather our faces and dance to Rihanna.  She enjoys mixing things up and adding her own blend of essential oils.  I think spending time with someone you're crazy about, having fun and laughing is the best beauty ritual there is, not to mention the least expensive.

Victoria Karen

Thank you, Victoria and Karen, for sharing your beautiful skin care products!