Alison Carroll is no stranger to this site. You might remember her style story here. We’ve always been inspired by her approach to life so we asked to come back and talk about her line, Wonder Valley and the beauty rituals that inspired it.
What is your morning beauty and wellness routine?
I am not the earliest riser, but I’ve been trying to carve out more space for wellness before I jump into work. It has such a major impact on my mood and ability to manage stress. I love doing Qi Gong in the morning, I feel instantly recalibrated and its a great precursor to meditation. Sometimes a workout. I tongue scrape, dry brush and do a deep cleanse on my face with our oil cleanser, really taking my time massaging this gel-like oil cleanser into dry skin and breaking up congestion (and feels great to give myself a little facial massage first thing). I follow up with all the oils; our hinoki body oil and our face oil, which immediately I feel radiant and refreshed. I’m light on makeup; usually just a little mascara or eye shadow – I love the brand Kjaer Weis’s products, natural & chic. I brush my hair and use a little salt spray, like Tierra sagrada or this small batch one from Fresh Pickins, I usually apply a bit of our body oil to the ends of my hair.
I drink a liter of water and eat a handful of vitamins. I take a shot of Wonder Valley olive oil for an antioxidant-rich start to my day. I drink a small pot of tea, like a hojicha I brought back from a trip to Kyoto, or English breakfast with some milk – I love Leaves and Flowers.Then I get to it to start working on Wonder Valley at our high desert home studio.
What products do you keep on you to use throughout the day?
I usually travel with our face oil on the go. I usually have a small vial of essential oils in a roll-on that I’ll blend myself and apply as perfume refresh or just as aromatherapy; right now it’s sandalwood, labdanum, and jasmine. I love RTH’s vintage spray to spritz on my clothing as a refresh throughout the day. Some sort of hydrosol, whether I’ve made it or simple rosewater is great to have on hand for the desert. Right now, always a mask & some hand sanitizer. My friend Agnes makes my favorite sanitizer which is a pleasure to use, and I carry it around in one of her leather bags, which is a staple for me. I like a very subtle tinted lip balm, like (m)anasi’s densuke.
What is your evening routine?
Right now, I’ve been testing out some new skincare products for Wonder Valley… I can’t wait to share these with you! That’s been apart of my evening rituals to continually test out our products over a few months before we release, making subtle tweaks to the scent or to improve performance.
I like to wind down with a shower or bath, in the desert we have a great outdoor bathhouse with a big clawfoot tub that sits under a big creosote and the shower that looks at a the range of mountains that circle our property near the national park. I’ve been running a business and working from our home studio for 5 years now, and it can be hard to have a boundary between home-life and work-life, I find that a bath at the end of the day is an excellent divider, even better with a spritz or cup of sake in the tub. I usually light some incense in the tub; we make the most incredible Oud incense handmade in Kyoto. I am heavy handed on the epsom salt and like to add a dash of essential oils like hinoki or cedar, which makes me feel like I’m in a cedar tub in Japan. I’m also a big fan of CAP Beauty’s love bath which is an all in one if magnesium and essential oils. Always using our Two Deserts soap, made mostly with WV olive oil, extremely hydrating and smells like the desert after a thunderstorm. I like to do a hair mask once a week, just leaving some olive oil on the ends of my hair before I wash. I love Playa’s Every Day line for shampoo and conditioner— I’m picky about fragrance and it’s hard to find high-performing natural haircare, this has been a go-to for me. After bathing, I’ll apply our face oil and body oil neck to toes. I’ll hang outside in a robe for way too long as the sun sets over the ridge, El Cosmico makes the best robes around, and Sabah makes an excellent house slipper. I love the desert air after a bath, you barely need a towel and I can bathe outside for almost 11 months of out of the year.
What is your definition of beauty?
Beauty is balance and authenticity. Supporting my whole self; physical, energetic, and emotional body to let that inner light shine bright. Feeling whole and empowered is beautiful.