Lately we haven’t been able to speak to an expert, do a Top Shelf, or shop Net-A-Porter for that matter without being confronted by roses. Not that the flower is exactly a new symbol of beauty; it's essentially the original metaphor for anything alluring/attractive. And now, Aphrodite’s flower, the subject of van Gogh paintings, Robert Mapplethorpe photos, riffs by Homer, Shakespeare, and Tupac, and the fragrance of choice for every socialite from Marie Antoinette to Jacqui Getty, is once again having a moment on our bathroom shelves. In
one three words: Bitches love roses. Mostly because they make us feel twee and loved and they smell so good. But it doesn't hurt that precious rose oil in all its incarnations also balances and soothes skin, and provides essential fatty acids to fight aging and dryness. With that in mind, here’s what’s been coming up roses:
Toners: The toner and makeup setter of choice for East Coast supermodels (Anja Rubik, Sigrid Agren) and West Coast eco-conscious beauties (Kourtney Kardashian, Kilo Kish, and Atlanta de Cadenet Taylor), rosewater is lauded for its divine scent and, in skincare guru Mila Moursi’s words, “hydrating, clarifying, and energizing properties.” Indeed, one spritz of it after cleansing (perhaps with the petal-infused Su:M 37 Rose Cleansing Stick), applying makeup, or a few hours at your desk will make you feel brisk-walk alert and a little calmer. Heritage Store Rosewater is a popular choice, but we like Chantecaille Pure Rosewater because it's attached to the best spray nozzle we've ever used (dispensing just the right amount of product with impactful yet pacifying pressure). To further cleanse and balance skin, Sisley Floral Toning Lotion combines the floral water with witch hazel, but if it's extra moisture you're looking for, Mario Badescu Facial Spray has a signature blend of herbs and aloe for a skin calming, extra-hydrating mist.
Face Moisturizers: Named among ITG's top 10 best facial hydrators under $40, Dr. Hauschka Rose Day Cream’s all-natural formula smells like a Valentine's Day bouquet, and moisturizes enough for Polar Vortex dryness, imparting a dewy (never oily) finish. It’s double the hydration and less than one-sixth the price of the perfectly pink and extremely covetable Dr. Sebagh Rose de Vie Serum, a blend of organic rose hip seed oil and "antioxidants" that sinks into the skin for a smoothed and redness-reduced complexion.
Face Masks: Considering that Charlotte Tilbury, the woman behind the once-bespoke-and-now-consumer-ready Magic Cream (just a few months until it crosses the pond!), keeps Sisley Black Rose Cream Mask in her arsenal, you can be sure it’s a hydrator that’s worth every British pound. The “Instant Youth”-touting, petal-pink formula soaks into your face for a mere 15 minutes to revive fatigued skin in a very real way (plumped, hydrated, lifted, feeling like mink, smelling like flowers...). Sisley suggests wiping off excess after the quarter-hour, but our thirsty skin (and thrifting wallets) paid no mind to that. If you're interested in knowing exactly what rose jelly would feel like on your face, try Fresh’s Rose Face Mask, which features rose petals that literally melt into your skin, as the cucumber extract and aloe vera gel physically cool it down, and green tea gets to the face-brightening business.
Body Creams: You are welcome to test your scent-mixing skills between your lotion and perfume, but why not just get your fragrance via your lotion? L’Occitane’s easily spreadable and skin-soaking Ultra Soft Cream in Rose Heart is a Shea butter-based, milky rose lotion with an herb-y finish. The smell is just a little softer than Chloé Roses de Chloé—a vaguely citrus rose that we could imagine The Virgin Suicide’s Lisbon sisters sharing (and, if you're coming to us from Japan, is available there in a rich, velvety body cream, contained in a glass, silver, and ivory enamel bottle; lucky you). For skin in dire need of repair, try Earth Tu Face Hydrate + Repair, which uses (and smells like) organic immortelle oil—known as the everlasting flower—to boost cell regeneration, and organic rose oil to relieve irritation. The thin, buttery balm is gentle enough for your face (which it's meant for), but is excellent for localized damage-control on the body. (Dry elbows, anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Just us...)
Lip Balms: We’ve been carrying around tins of C.O. Bigelow Rose Salve since the fifth grade, rubbing the thin, apricot-colored jelly into just about every irritated, dry, or sun-burnt patch of epidermis in sight. And, though it will always remain in our hearts and bags (it really is the chicest tin), when it comes to rose-based lip humectants, By Terry’s Baume de Rose is where it's at. The thick, tacky, and not even a tiny bit oily formula delivers a serious shield of weather protection with a delicate blush flush and layered rose fragrance to your mouth. By Terry nailed it.
As it turns out, a rose by just about any name will do just fine.
Photos by Mathea Millman.