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Trend Report: The Art of Detoxing

While the detox trend is not new, what’s at the helm of the refreshed movement is using natural ingredients to support skin’s innate healing, rejuvenating process. Natural beauty brands take it a step further, with formulas that help jump-start sluggish skin turnover, invigorate the body’s detoxing process and provide a luxurious experience. Here’s a quick look at three Opal Avenue brands that are top notch when it comes to the art of detoxing.

More Than Skin Deep: Kunye Refine Mask

Kunye works meticulously to sculpt a collection of skincare products crafted from the most effective botanicals, superfoods and minerals on the planet. The line of essential simplifies the science, unearths the goodness, and packages it sustainably, leaving users with a routine that elevates skin to its best self: smooth, hydrated and balanced. Plus, everything Kunye makes is waterless, eliminating the need for harsh preservatives and waste-of-space toxic, filler ingredients. In other words, these formulas are the richest, purest and most potent they could be.

Kunye capitalizes on its potent formulas in its Refine Mask. The glow-inducing mask starts as a powder and only releases its cleansing and gently exfoliating elements when activated with water, honey or yogurt. The result is a velvety mousse with a gentle grit that instantly smoothes and softens skin texture, purifies pores and encourages circulation for a healthy glow. It’s like a detox smoothie for your complexion.

Taking Care of the Pits: Cleo & Coco’s Charcoal Deodorant Stick

Cleo&Coco takes to heart the idea that what we put on our bodies body is as important as what we put in them. The skin is the body?s largest organ, and it absorbs everything put on it directly into the bloodstream. That?s why Cleo&Coco created all-natural, innovative, health-conscious formulations for common body care products like deodorant that outperform their counterparts. They’re helping redefine natural into a luxurious, invigorating and healthy experience that is 100% effective, guaranteed. Made for women, men and teens, Cleo&Coco products work as hard as you do to help keep you healthy, without compromise.

Gentle enough to be used daily, Cleo&Coco’s natural deodorants are formulated with coconut-derived activated charcoal and bentonite clay magnets that naturally draw out and eliminate odor-causing toxins, bacteria and wetness. It assists and supports the body’s natural daily detox process, keeping pits odor free all day.

The signature Grapefruit Bergamot Scent is citrusy and refreshing with uplifting bergamot, grapefruit and orange essential oils that men, women and teens can enjoy.

Detoxing from the Outside In: Beverly to 5th’s Peppermint Coffee Scrub

Beverly To 5th was a small skincare brand that started out selling luxury body scrubs in California. Founder Andy is an organic coffee expert who struggled for success in a growing commercial beverage market.?The surprise came when Andy noticed that while crafting his coffee products in a special way, coffee would make his skin softer. That beverage brand eventually became a skincare brand which was made to sell better quality at a much lower price than the competition.

The Clarifying Peppermint Coffee Scrub is is designed to exfoliate, moisturize and help with stretch marks, cellulite and aging. By utilizing both the stimulating and exfoliating benefits of ground coffee, Beverly to 5th makes smooth, supple and clear skin affordable without compromising on ingredients.?Peppermint oil is perfect for helping to alleviate blemishes and clarify skin, plus it helps jump-start the body’s detoxification process by stimulating the lymphatic system and encouraging drainage of excess water.

Learn more about Opal Avenue brands and how they?re bringing #betterbeauty to the world at?opalavenue.com.

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Trend Report: How Brands Are Embracing Beauty From the Inside Out

Beauty from the Inside Out

You can always count on the ethical, clean beauty movement to be at the helm of wellness trends. Brands that care about their ingredients also care about how each product impacts our whole being, instead of being focused on performance at a surface level. Yes, we want that lipstick to have a matte finish, but not at the cost of accidentally swallowing hazardous chemicals that might be linked to lupus.

As awareness of what we put on our bodies rises, so does the understanding of how what we put in our bodies shows up on the outside. Healthy, glowing skin is a reflection of the inner workings of our bodies, from gut and reproductive health to hydration and stress levels. Opal Avenue brands are at the forefront of the beauty-from-the-inside-out trend, and these four brands are leading the pack.

Inner Hydration: Superieur Electrolytes

Superieur Electrolytes is in front of the pack when it comes to real-sourced drink mixes. The company’s founders realize that wellness stems from how the body can heal, repair and rejuvenate itself. The powder, which you can toss in your water bottle each morning, takes advantage of real-food-extracted vitamin C from acerola berry to give an immune-boosting punch?lab-made ascorbic acid found in other formulas isn’t the complete vitamin and therefore can’t give you the same effect.

Bamboo extract, rich in the mineral silica, is a antioxidant that can help contribute to healthy skin, hair and nails. Ionic sea minerals, which contain essential electrolytes like magnesium and other trace minerals, help the body repair and replenish, whether you’ve just completed a workout or you’re nursing sore muscles. Non-GMO pink Himalayan sea salt contains more than 80 minerals that help balance the body’s pH, which fosters immunity and encourages good digestion.

But what makes Superieur Electrolytes stand out even more is that its formula contains absolutely nothing artificial or unnecessary. It’s gluten-free, vegan and non-GMO. Even its coloring comes from fresh-squeezed citrus!

Reproductive Health: Lunette Menstrual Cup

Lunette Menstrual CupThe women’s movement has helped make menstruation more than just something we talk about in hushed tones with girlfriends in the office bathroom when we run out of tampons. And for good reason: Aunt Flo is a direct link to a woman’s health. It helps women know and understand their bodies, and the trend toward treating the monthly occurrence as more than a nuisance is only growing. Lunette Menstrual Cup supports both the frantic “I’m out of tampons!” event, and the vision for women to take charge of their health from the inside out.

Traditional tampons and pads are made with cotton treated with chlorine bleach, which can create toxic dioxin?a chemical that’s been linked to abnormal tissue growth, immune system suppression and endocrine system disruption. Not really the kind of ingredient you want to have so close to sensitive parts of the female reproductive system on a monthly basis, right?

Lunette eliminates the potential issues with tampon and pad ingredients by providing a safer alternative in its medical-grade silicone menstrual cup. Not only does it help avoid toxins in bleached cotton, but it also provides freedom from carrying around loads of back-up products. Instead, the cup, which comes in multiple sizes, can hold up to 12 hours worth of menstruation, giving women the ability to honor their cycles while still living their dreams. It doesn’t hurt that avoiding endocrine and hormonal disruption can help regulate the body’s reproductive system and create clearer, glowing skin. But, it’s more than beauty from the inside out?it’s a way to empower and support women in their daily lives.

Sleep Support: BRAID Sweet Dreams Room & Linen Spritzer

BRAID Sweet Dreams Room and Linen SpritzerScience backs it: More sleep equals better?cognitive function, and?better looks. Yep?not only does good sleep make your brain work faster and smarter, it also helps your skin repair, leading to that coveted glow. Add to that the fact that chronic lack of sleep is linked to Alzheimer’s and dementia later in life, and those eight hours per night are even more crucial. But with the way our world turns these days, with longer work hours, more screen time, longer to-do lists and more to juggle, a healthy amount of sleep might feel out of reach.

BRAID Sweet Dreams Linen & Room Spritzer can help capitalize on the sleep you do get. Formulated to be safe enough for use on babies, this calming spray settles the nervous system and helps soothe restlessness. Lavender is proven to help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. Chamomile, which has long been regarded as a medicinal herb to promote sleep, also has proven stress-relief effects when inhaled. Sweet orange oil has been shown to reduce anxiety for women during labor, which bodes well for its ability to calm and soothe as you’re drifting to sleep. Together, with distilled water and witch hazel, these essential oils contribute to deeper, longer sleep, and promote beauty form the inside out.

Stress Reduction: Norabloom Organic Lavender Eye Pillow

norabloom-eyepillow

Chronic stress has been shown to have a number of?negative health impacts, from insomnia to weight gain to an increased risk for heart disease?not to mention impairing the immune and digestive systems as well as the central nervous system. And when it comes to aging, we?ve all heard that worrying will give you wrinkles, and science is beginning to back that up.?When we?re under ongoing stress, it creates that fight-or-flight reaction in an unrelenting way, and as a result, stress chemicals are released into the body. The release of those stress chemicals creates biological changes that can contribute to signs of aging on the skin and in the body.

Norabloom’s Organic Lavender Eye Pillow can help stop that fight-or-flight reaction in its tracks. Lavender helps reduce anxiety, and can help prevent the anticipation of stress, a factor in our bodies producing too much of the stress hormone cortisol, which can impact our cells’ ability to regenerate. It’s also been shown to be effective at combating stress and anxiety after childbirth. Add to that the fact that in order to use the pillow, you actually have to slow down, take a breath and relax, and you’ll be reaching for this pillow on repeat. It can even help reduce stress and tension headaches?pop it in the freezer or microwave and apply to the neck or side of head for quick, medication-free pain relief, and more beauty from the inside out.

Learn more about Opal Avenue brands and how they’re bringing #betterbeauty to the world at opalavenue.com.

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Brand to Retailer Connection: Core Strategies for Success

In the rapidly growing arena of natural beauty and wellness, it?s getting more difficult to stand out from the crowd. Retailers have limited shelf space and targeted budgets, and their goal is to ensure that the products they place in front of customers are purchased, enthusiastically and repeatedly without returns or complaints. Our CEO, Mia Bell, shares how you can shine and show you know what it takes to make retail partners and their customers happy.

  1. happy-handshakeDifferentiate yourself. I?can’t stress this point enough. It’s no longer enough to?be THE “cruelty-free”, “natural” beauty brand as there are just so many products available now that fit this bill. There are a lot?of ways to still be unique in the space. Perhaps you want to focus on fair trade ingredients, look at your price point, or choose a product niche with less competition and room for innovation such as products for teens or men, hair care or period care (to name a few). Skin and body care are naturally dense and plentiful categories, so you’ll want to find a unique edge (and expertise) to stand out if you’re committed to building your brand in this product arena. What hasn’t been seen yet?
  2. Invest in packaging. We all know ingredient integrity matters when claiming CLEAN, but for better or worse, so does packaging. It’s the first thing retailers and consumers see and connect with on an emotional level. Consumer tastes and market preferences change over time so it’s important to remember there is a possibility that you’ll need a future package or brand redesign to match the times. So make it easy for yourself. Plan for the long game, not the short game. Inspiration is everywhere. Subscribe to industry publications to stay in touch with happenings in your category or glean new ideas. A favorite indie publication of mine is Beauty Independent. A really great read!
  3. Understand the value of social media.?There’s no denying the power of social media, particularly in the space of beauty and wellness. Retailers want to see that you’re doing the best you can to build a name and following that will ultimately help them get customers in the door to shop for your fantastic products. Knowing that your brand has fans will make them more confident that selling your product will be successful. As a business owner yourself, you know that marketing takes significant time and effort, as well as consistency. So stick to it. It will pay off! Instagram is by far the most popular avenue that well brands use to connect with new followers, not surprisingly. It’s an incredibly visual medium to communicate your brand story. Both Twitter and LinkedIn can be great?avenues for connecting with PR outlets and others in the complementary businesses. And Facebook is another way to visually engage with a wider audience. Even more powerful? Conducting informational LIVE streams and product demos. With video becoming the prominent captivator on all social platforms, consumers are pre-conditioned and eager to engage with your brand and products in real time. If you don’t have the time or interest, it’s worth investing in paying someone to take this work on, but be sure to find someone you trust. This is your brand and ideally, you will want to work with someone who understands the industry.
  4. Have an attractive and informative brand website.?This is related to the social media point above. By having a strong and beautiful web presence, retailers can feel confident that you’re taking the brand seriously. When it comes to information, particularly in the natural space, retailers would rather not have to hunt down critical information. Having complete ingredient listings and product descriptions are vital. One of the requirements for a brand to be listed on Opal Avenue?(a first of its kind online retailer-to-brand connector) is that it must use verified safe ingredients and disclose full ingredient lists on the brand’s individual product pages. Retailers (as well as conscious consumers) must have this information readily available so they can make quick and informed purchasing decisions. Any other information about you and your brand story can further enhance your connection with retail buyers on Opal Avenue and beyond.
  5. Respond to your emails in a timely manner.?Do whatever you can to respond to emails quickly (ideally within 24 hours or less). If you’re on vacation or swamped with production, set up?an out of office email so they know they when they can expect a response. It’s important to make sure that retailers know you’re on top of your business and communicating in a professional manner is key.? Retail buyers tend to work within strict product consideration timelines. Purchasing needs can change FAST. Don’t miss a great opportunity by not responding promptly.
  6. Be prepared. ?You’ll need to set wholesale policies and requirements for your brand so retailers can immediately understand what it will take to work with you. This information also serves to help them determine if you are a good fit for their stores. Set your wholesale minimums, case quantities per item (if desired), wholesale pricing and margins, payment terms, shipping procedures, and important online resale policies such as MAP (Minimum Advertised Pricing). This creates a base foundation with which to initiate retail relationships. It’s also never too early to have a tentative plan for scaling. You may not be working with a manufacturer yet, but you may want to start doing this initial research and have contacts in your back pocket for when that big order comes in.
  7. Do your research on the market. Saying you want your products to be sold?in every possible retail distribution channel can lead you down a frustrated and unfocused path. This is known as a “buckshot approach”. The anticipation that you’ll hit your mark by going in every direction. Where direct focus goes, energy flows. Get specific. Do you think your brand is better suited for natural grocery? Specialty or luxury retailers? Independent boutiques perhaps? Maybe they’re best for spas, salons and wellness studios. Or a combination of the above? Understand why you want to get into a certain market and?target your energy toward knowing that purchasing space and its needs really well. I recommend also finding out what reputable sales entities work within those retail channels and start a conversation. You may be surprised at what you learn from these professionals! And above all, show how your brand is unique. Make it loud and clear.
  8. Get out there! It’s time to connect with shops. There are many traditional ways to do this.? Hiring a sales brokerage or firm can be an option if you have the bandwidth and budget to support their sales efforts on your behalf with consistent samples stock, printed marketing collateral, account support, and rep training. They become an active extension of your business (and staff count). You may want to hire a dedicated in-house sales assistant or be personally tasked with reaching out to buyers on your own. Historically, tradeshows and showrooms were the preferred option for both young and established brands to gain market exposure. It’s no secret, however, that times are changing. Thanks to technology, there are now more cost-effective and streamlined ways to connect with the right opportunities at the right time. Targeted, online platforms like Opal Avenue can be an additional, evergreen, supplement to a brand’s existing retailer connection efforts and enhance buyer visibility 24/7. 365 days a year. Making outreach less about cold solicitation and more about warm, mutual match-making. Regardless, set a realistic budget, timeline, and strategy. Operate with what works best for you. There is no one right answer for everyone. And most importantly, do what you can with what you have.