why i heart luxe de mer + a GIVEAWAY!

IMG_0554IMG_0555 love is in the air! valentine's day is tomorrow and to celebrate the day, i am tickled pink to get to share with all of you, something that i love, Luxe de Mer. the company is new to the skincare scene (don't you love something fresh? i sure do.) but they are already turning heads and making a splash with their beautiful line of skincare products. everything they create is natural and organic, vegan, raw, small batch, safe, and free of any harmful preservatives or icky additives. clean and natural but they know how to get the job done too.

the packaging is exquisite. the natural scents are actually from nature and so pleasing. the products feel good on the skin. and they deliver great results...clean and refreshed and glowing skin.

here is a bit more about the philosophy of Luxe, straight from their site:

Luxe products are made with the finest of ingredients. For example, most products on the shelves of department stores and online merchants are filled with oils that are so refined that their nutrients have been stripped. We choose cold pressed oils so as to retain all the nutrients. When applied to your skin, you can think of it as a vitamin, filled with bountiful nutrients that every body needs. All our carrier oils and ingredients are organic with exception of Pure Cane Sugar and Dead Sea Salt. We use Vitamin E (T-50) as a natural preservative, refusing to use loads of chemicals and harsh preservatives. Our products are best used within one year's time and we believe, like most healthy foods, anything that can last longer than a year should not be trusted. We refuse to use chemicals, dyes, perfumes, and fragrances that are known to be toxic or carcinogenic. We promise to choose only the most nutrient dense oils and ingredients for our products, delivering you an effective, powerful skincare line that can be trusted. We have banned over a thousand ingredients to never be used in Luxe products, believing that only real, actually natural, pure ingredients are what your body needs.

We never keep secrets and promise to be truth tellers in the skincare industry.

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really good stuff, right? head to their site and take it for a spin. i know you will get lost in the bounty of skincare goodness. they have something for everyone. and what i love is that they let nature do the heavy lifting. nothing harsh and complicated and chemical-formula driven. just pure and clean ingredients that are combined to make your skin do its job and feel happy. i love that my skin doesn't feel overworked or dried out or overwhelmed by stuff. Luxe keeps things simple. yes to simple! my skincare routine is a simple one and i like my "glow' to be natural. i believe that putting good stuff in shows on the outside. so, when i select products to use topically, i want them to be pure and effectual and safe.

but hey, a girl likes something pretty too! i love healthy but i don't want boring containers with hideous labels sitting on my bathroom shelf. and good grief, just because it is healthy doesn't mean it should have a funky smell. enter, Luxe de Mer. they create products of substance that are nice to look at too. the brand is inspired by its place of conception and birth, beautiful santa barbara. and you do feel transported when you use the products. a fresh, airy, beachy, salt air, floral, sunny experience. a little vacation for your skin.

okay, and the very best part of this whole thing? the adorable couple running the show. meet chelsey and rob.

Rob&Chelsey

how cute are they? and how amazing to get to work with your spouse! they are simply darling. and did i mention another fun part? chelsey is a childhood friend of mine. we go way back to the playground days. we have lost touch over the years but recently reconnected and soon thereafter, she and rob launched Luxe. i was instantly intrigued with their venture and had to know more. that sparked a few conversations and well, here we are! i am so excited to get to feature not only this beautiful brand...but the love story behind it.

in preparing for this post, i asked chelsey (and rob) a few questions so we could get a better idea of not only the company story but their personal story. i'm sure you will be as smitten as i was.

Rob & Chelsey Pic

tell me a little about your business and work backgrounds.

Rob works as an athletic trainer at the University of Santa Barbara, CA. I have a masters in Counseling and have been working full time as a counselor since 2009. While we be both find a lot of joy and fulfillment out of our careers it has always been a dream of ours to create a business that allowed the two of us to use our passions and skill sets in such a way that would allow us to work together.

On the side, I have been creating my own facial masks/toners and other skincare products for over ten years. In 2013 a friend of mine asked if she could purchase my products. Jokingly Rob suggested we start a business. Christmas of 2014 we launched Luxe de Mer.

Our business is a result of our passions colliding. My husband has the business expertise. He loves numbers/data/streamlining/spreadsheets/projections. I absolutely love to create. These together, inspired Luxe de Mer. 

what led you to skincare?

After getting pregnant for the first time {and later miscarrying} both my husband and I became intensely aware about what we were not only eating but using on a daily basis. Most commonly, our skincare. As we began to research the ingredients that the FDA approves for everyday skincare products we were appalled. In fact, FDA does not regulate skincare ingredients at all unless they contain a dye. Even further, the FDA has not reconsidered their regulations on skincare since 1938. The European Union has banned over 1500 products, the US 9. We could go on that tangent for days but all in all this inspired us to create a line that was not only organic and free of all fragrances, dyes, perfumes, preservatives and chemicals but that was actually effective and affordable. Ta da: Luxe de Mer | Skin care with no secrets.

you run this company with your husband. how did that happen? what made you decide to go into business together?

To be honest, we love spending time together. We really are a perfect fit in terms of running a business. My husband loves to joke that all my years of consuming has allowed us to be successful  ;-) but really we are quiet the team. He runs the numbers and I make relationships with people. We love spending the day together, be it relaxing and having fun, or working. As long as we are together, we consider it a “dream day”.

would you mind sharing a bit of your love story?

Neither Rob nor myself can talk about our “love story” without crying. Its true. We both get wet eyes. There is no short version, but two years of dating and loving each other “right were we are at” not pushing the other to become something that we wish they were, but just accepting them for who they are allowed us to truly fall in love with each other and decide that life was so much better together than apart. When Rob decided to ask me to be his wife, he surprised me in “Surprise, Arizona” with a freeway sign that read “welcome to Surprise CHELSEY” … as we pulled off the road to take pictures (I had NO clue that this was the begging of a proposal) we got out of the car and walked around and on the back of the freeway sign it read “Will you marry me?” Rob was down on one knee and he went on to explain that he chose the desert to purpose because his life was like a desert until he met me. And now together, no matter where we live or what we do it will flourish because we are no longer alone. I of course said yes and off we went for a whole week of “surprises” to celebrate our love. Today, Luxe de Mer is a continuation of our love, not only for each other, but to the world.

what’s the best thing about working together?

Rob: We get to be together, be creative and build something together, complimenting each other in the way that we contribute & have a blast! 

Chels: Not having to say goodbye every morning!

what’s the biggest challenge about working together?

Rob: Communication.

Chels: In terms of working with Rob, I can not say there is anything difficult about working “with” him other than it forces us to CONSTANTLY communicate… which as frustrating as it can be at times. (Cough: Men and women think really differently!) It only causes us to grow stronger. Also, Time management. Learning the difference between urgent and important, good & great.

what do you see in the next five years? plans. hopes. dreams.

Our dream is to grow Luxe de Mer to be a mainstream, affordable, TRUSTWORTHY brand that everyone has access to. We are working on a baby line and hope to launch that in 2015. Personally we hope to start a family. We want to raise a family together, working together and parenting together. Awe, a dream!

any tips for starting and running a business?

Be organized. Know your numbers. Be honest with what you are good at and where you need help. And honestly - for starting a business you need courage. Courage to believe that what you have to offer the world will make a difference. Don’t be afraid. There are a thousand reasons you can talk yourself out of starting a business. But don’t. We need what you have to offer this world!

what is your skincare routine?

Chels: I LOVE washing my face every evening with our Deep Cleansing Oil Wash. It is my nightly “spa” routine. I use a hot washcloth and just enjoy the two minutes of luxury. I follow with a few sprits of Organic Rosewater Toner and of course follow up with our Moisturizing Face Dry Oil. In the mornings my face does not feel greasy or even dirty. I usually swipe some Gentle Face Cleanser on a cotton ball and wipe my face clean, rinsing with cool water and follow with a little Toner and Dry Face Oil. Off we go!

Rob: I must say, on the nights that I shower before bed and am just too lazy, I use our foaming face and body wash for men. Its lovely! It foams up beautifully and offers a quick rinse without the extra step of using a hot washcloth.

chelsey, what is the best health/beauty advice you’ve ever received?

Take care of yourself from the inside out.

and with the day of love just around the corner, what is your perfect valentine's day?

A perfect V-day would be to spend it with Rob without any interruptions. A blend of outdoor excursion and a tasty meal would be good enough for me! Oh and a glass of vino of course!

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see what i mean about them? the cutest, right? smart and dedicated and generous. we need more people and companies like that. thank you, rob and chelsey, for sharing your story!

aaaaand...speaking of generosity and sharing...this incredible company has kindly agreed to join forces for a GIVEAWAY! wahoo! Luxe is giving away one of their luxe facial travel sets to one lucky winner! this is a super way to sample their products. the set comes in a handy travel case and includes: 1 oz of Deep Cleansing Oil Face Wash + Organic Rosewater Toner + Hot & Cold Clay Mask + Moisturizing Face Oil.

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the giveaway will run from february 13 through february 17 on swanky & dapper and on instagramhead over there to check it out and play by those rules.

blog rules: head to the Lux de Mer site and take a look around, come back here and leave a comment with why your skin could use some luxe.

one entry per person, open to US residents only.giveaway runs from february 13 – february 17. closes at midnight, mountain time.

one random winner will be chosen from the combined blog + IG entries. the winner will be announced on february 18 and contacted privately to obtain any info needed in order to receive their Luxe goodies!

rachel