Indulge your inner flower child with local, handmade bath and beauty products, all for under $50. Austin’s love of all things natural and creative comes together in these divine bath, beauty, and wellness products.
My nickname among my friends is “Lotions and Potions,” meaning I do NOT leave home without them. Resisting the urge to read every description on every bottle, smell, and try out each tester on the shelf is a constant struggle. The good news: Austin makers offer an abundance of lotions and potions. While they are perfect stocking stuffers or host gifts at Christmas, they make excellent presents year-round.
Who doesn’t love finding a magical product that makes the hair, skin, or face radiant, lustrous, and beautiful? Here I share some of my favorite local goodies, so you can stock up on gifts. We won’t tell anyone if you buy them for yourself, either. We don’t judge.
1/ Aromaholic: Intoxicating Body Care
Aromaholic founder Liz Drabik has always loved making her own organic goodies. One night over gin and tonics with a group of friends, inspiration struck. “Why not make lip balm inspired by my favorite cocktails, starting with gin and tonic?” she thought.
Back in the home lab, she added coriander, juniper berry, and lime to her base balm made of yummy organic ingredients, which includes cocoa butter, coconut oil, beeswax, and avocado oil. Eureka! Aromaholic was born!
With a nearly endless roster of tasty drinks to choose from, Drabik soon got to work creating a line of cocktail-inspired lip balms and soaps. If you have a favorite drink, she likely has the lip balm for you: classics like mimosa and Bloody Mary appear in the lineup, as do trendier cocktails such as Moscow Mule and mojito. Aromaholic has expanded to a line of wine- and beer-inspired products. I personally recommend the Saison.
Austin is a boozy city that loves organic goodies, so Aromaholic fits right in. Drabik sells products individually or as themed sets: cocktails, wine, beer, or The Golden Girls (really!). At $4.50 for an individual lip balm or $9.50 for a bar of soap, these make nifty, affordable gifts.
2/ Jenergie Naturals: Food for Your Skin
When I first spied the Jenergie Naturals table at a holiday market, the sheer amount and variety of product impressed me. The fact that nearly all of the products had testers out meant I was going down this rabbit hole head first.
Founder Jennifer Green exudes the kind of hippie/Earth mother vibe one would hope she would exude, surrounded by so many wonderful scents. Her products include such outlier ingredients as creosote and Chinese herbs, along with more recognizable ingredients like lavender and coffee.
Green describes Jenergie Naturals as “a local, all-natural skincare and wellness line serving the greater good of Austin, Texas, and the rest of the world.” She began concocting her own gentle skin care products out of necessity, as her sensitive skin could not bear the mass-produced skin care lines found on grocery and drug store shelves.
The entrepreneur dug in her heels to research herbs, flowers, and other plants, and what they did for her skin. Green continued to delve into the natural world by studying Eastern Medicinal Herbology, even becoming a licensed acupuncturist. She knows her stuff.
My favorite in her line is the creosote and kombucha facial toner. The smell is subtle and unique, and makes my skin feel so good. Jenergie Naturals offers a full line of aromatic sugar scrubs; the jasmine/matcha blend won me over.
Available concoctions include eye and facial serums, room spray, bath salts, cleansing grains, a drinkable immune-boosting elixir, and herbal facial steams. Green also has an extensive line for men, with styling wax, shaving oil, and a powder named “For Your Balls.” Prices vary, but start around the $12 range.
➡️ Keep reading: “5 Places Where You Can Pursue Health and Wellness in Austin”
3/ Moore Soap: Primitive and Plant-based
I met Moore at a #bossbabesATX event and loved the way her soap felt, looked, and smelled. I left that same day with a few bars. Each one is handcrafted with “ingredients from the Earth,” and they are moisturizing and yummy.
I’m all about uplifting, energizing scents, so the Black Bar appealed to me right away. The Black Bar, a top seller, contains peppermint essential oil to wake you up and lift your spirits, activated charcoal, and French green clay. It’s utterly luscious. One pro tip, though: it really is black, so you’ll need a soap dish to keep your shower/sink clean. Moore’s soaps sell for $8 a bar.
Eco-friendly, organic, and sustainable are the qualities 512organics lives by. The line is definitely potion-heavy, with all sorts of helpful products that heal and pamper. Founder Brenda Myers started out making lip balms, but soon expanded her line to include herbal remedies of all sorts. The usual suspects are there, with soaps and lotions, but 512organics also carries an extensive line of essential oil blends, salves, and serums.
The Gorgeous Rose Face Serum is the top seller, with anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-aging, and anti-bacterial properties. It’s at the pricier end of this list ($48). But with all that goodness, it sounds worth it to me.
With a background in the medical industry and an interest in helping her friends, Myers started mixing her potions together. Drowsy Drops™ and Peace & Quiet Pillow Mist™ coax one into gentle sleep, while Calm the Crazy fights off the effects of stress, and Calm the Itch, well, calms the itch (bug bites, rashes, so on).
Myers also has a line intended for breast cancer radiation repair and Neal’s Gnarly Beard Tamer. The 512organics products start at $12 and go up from there. Selections are largely vegan, and the company is adamant about recycling and reducing waste whenever possible. The company also donates a portion of sales to Organic Consumers Association and Kiva, so you can feel good about treating yourself and your skin to 512organics!
5/ The ABGB/Kuhdoo Soap Co.
The Austin Beer Garden Brewing Company carries a line of beer soap! I think that is so fun. The soaps come in three scents, each made with an ABGB beer by the same name: Big Mama Red, Superliner IPA, and Day Trip Pale Ale. Big Mama Red is one of my favorite beers there, so no surprise it’s my favorite soap of theirs, too. These soaps smell and feel fabulous!
The beer soap is actually made by local Kuhdoo Soap Co. At $7 a bar, it’s a killer gift for that craft-beer-loving buddy on your list. Throw in a crowler of beer, too, if you really want to see their face light up. The ABGB gives 5 percent of its yearly profits to nonprofit partners though its charity, The Hell Yes Project. So this is another feel good, win-win place to shop.
6/ Verb for Your Hair
As if Birds Barbershop weren’t already the coolest place to get your hair done, the local business also sells a line of absolutely wonderful hair products, Verb. I have dry, fine, curly hair, so “beachy hair” 24/7 is kind of my look. I’m a spray, scrunch, and go woman.
Verb’s line of Sea texture products is fantastic for styling and moisturizing on the go, whether as part of a morning routine or popping out of the Blanco River after a swim. The Verb Sea line coddles my hair—and feels and smells so good, too.
Another favorite is the Ghost line with moringa oil. Even the wildest lioness needs a little taming now and then, and Ghost products keep the frizz at bay. I was already a fan of the Ghost Oil, and the new Ghost Dry Oil calms my hair ends. Each Verb product is $16. Birds Barbershop is the best place to buy them, but they’re also online and at select retailers.
If you, like me, love your lotions and potions, be sure to show our local creative spirits some love! I’ve got to run…my hands suddenly feel quite dry.
@theAustinot wants to know:
Which Austin beauty and wellness vendors make your go-to gift list?
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