Happy Earth Day! Kahina joins HAF to plant 5,000 trees in Morocco

April 22, 2016

 

Walnut tree seedlings planted by High Atlas Foundation. Photo by Heather Binns.

Walnut tree seedlings planted by High Atlas Foundation. Photo by Heather Binns.

 
Happy Earth Day! As a result of our campaign to raise money for the High Atlas Foundation’s “Trees For Life” initiative this month, we’ve succeeded in reaching our goal of raising the money to plant 5,000 trees! Thank you to all who supported us in our efforts.

The “Trees For Life” campaign is estimated to have lifted approximately 50,000 Moroccans out of poverty by by planting fruit trees to generate income and end their dependence on subsistence agriculture.

Here’s how it works: HAF has received land for the project from various organizations, including government agencies, local cooperatives, schools and women’s associations. Native tree species are planted in nurseries on the land and grown without the use of pesticides. Once the trees reach maturity, they are distributed to the surrounding population. Additionally, land management practices are put into place to prevent soil erosion and desertification, creating a simple program that ensures the longevity of Morocco’s people and environment.

To learn more about The High Atlas Foundation and its initiatives in Morocco, click here.

 

 

Photo by Heather Binns

Photo by Heather Binns

Become a Loyal Friend of Kahina

April 19, 2016

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You can now earn points toward future purchases when you shop on our website. Here’s how it works:

•Go to My Account and register

•We’ll give you 100 points for registering

•You’ll earn 1 point for every $1 spent

•Earn 100 points and receive a credit for $5

•You choose when to spend your credit.

Become a loyal friend today and start earning toward future purchases!

NEW: Pottery With Purpose for Kahina Limited Edition Soap and Dish Set

April 14, 2016

soap and dish cropped

Perfect for gifting, this very limited edition gift set comes packed in a box. Created by Terrice Basler of Pottery With Purpose, St. John’s Island, Newfoundland, this ceramic soap dish was custom-made for Kahina Giving Beauty and inspired by Moroccan textiles.

Terrice’s creations are inspired by a rural upbringing, blended with influences of her 20-year career in humanitarian development, especially in Africa, the Balkans, and China. As an activist and global village potter, Terrice seeks out engagement with like-minded enterprises and artisans, always looking for ways to make a difference in the world through clay.

More images from the studio of Pottery With Purpose:

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Springtime Skincare Ritual

April 11, 2016

 

 

spring skincare

Spring is in full swing.  To prepare for warmer weather, we’re sloughing off winter skin, revealing dewy, glowy fresh air-ready skin.

Springtime Morning Skincare Ritual:

  1. Gently cleanse and exfoliate with Kahina Facial Cleanser.  Massage cleanser into damp skin and rinse.
  2. Tone and hydrate the skin with Kahina Toning Mist. This preps the skin for oils, treatments and moisturizers and helps to lock in hydration.
  3. Brighten dull winter skin with Kahina Brightening Serum. Apply a few pumps to fingertips and apply to face and neck.
  4. Let rest on face for a few minutes, then massage Kahina Argan Oil to face and neck in upward sweeping motions to hydrate and repair.
  5. Follow with Facial Lotion to seal in moisture and protect skin from harmful environmental factors.
  6. Dab brightening and hydrating Eye Cream around your eyes.  You’re ready to face the (warmer) day!

 

 

Join Kahina in offsetting CO2 emissions while empowering rural communities in Morocco

April 3, 2016

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Did you know:

According to American Forests’ Carbon Footprint Calculator, an American who drives on average 13,000 miles a year would need to plant nine to sixteen trees in order to offset their carbon emissions.

Kahina Giving Beauty is supporting The High Atlas Foundation, working with farmers and families across Morocco, to reach the organization’s goal of planting over 1 million trees this year. Not only does planting trees offset CO2 emissions, but it also provides rural Moroccan families with the skills and tools needed to achieve economic sustainability through fruit tree agriculture. At a price of $0.50 cents per fruit tree sapling, a little can go a long way!

We’re donating all proceeds from the sale of Kahina argan oil on our website for the month of April to the High Atlas Foundation as part of their Plant a Tree campaign. That means that for each large bottle of argan oil purchased, we can plant 164 trees! For each small bottle purchased, we’ll donate enough money to purchase 72 trees. Please help us to reach our goal of raising the money to plant 5,000 trees by Earth Day, April 22!

36 Hours in Essaouira

March 27, 2016

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To celebrate the launch of our ESSAOUIRA Perfume Oil, we’re publishing Katharine’s quick travel guide to Essaouira, Morocco, the breezy port town that inspired the scent of the Body Serum and new Perfume Oil.

First a little history:  In 1506, the king of Portugal ordered a fortress to be built in Essaouira, then called Mogador by the native Berbers who inhabited the location.   After Morocco regained control during the 16th century, various powers including Spain, England, the Netherlands and France tried in vain to conquer Mogador.  In the 18th Century, the name Essouira, translated as “beautifully designed,”  was adopted and a French architect was hired to build the medina surrounding the original fortress.  Ideally located to benefit from trade between Africa, Europe and the Americas,  Essaouira thrived as a Morocco’s most important trading site.

Essaouira is a perfect place to escape to and unwind after the hectic pace of Marrakech.  The temperature stays a moderate 75 degrees all year, due to the trade winds blowing off of the Atlantic, which also make it an attractive destination for windsurfers.  It is an easy daytrip from Marrakech, but I prefer to stay a night or two to really benefit from the laid back spirit of the beach town.

Day 1:
The first thing in the morning, wander down to the docks to watch the fishermen bring in the days haul. The locals will be there buying their fish for the day, jostling among numerous fish mongers with their wares laid out in boxes on the ground or in carts. A huge variety of fresh fish is on display, eyed by plenty of cats hoping for their chance.

Fish Market in Essaouira

If you’re feeling brave, do what the locals do. Choose one of the vendors based on what looks good (even if you can’t identify the type of fish) and buy directly. There is a guy with a few tables and a grill at the end of the dock who will cook your fish and serve it to you on paper plates with bread for just a few dirhams.

#Postcardfrom Essaouira Morocco #KahinaContest

From the docks, I’ll continue on to walk the long, flat beach, stopping along the way at one of the sidewalk cafes across from the boardwalk for bessara, the traditional bean soup served for breakfast in Morocco.  At the far end of the beach, you can opt to ride camels and/or ponies surfside.

camels on the beach at Essaouira

For lunch, head back towards town where there is a row of open-air restaurant/stalls where you can choose the catch of the day.

Make time in the afternoon for the hammam, Morocco’s health and wellness tradition, which includes plenty of heat and steam, exfoliation and cleansing.  There are two types to choose from, the traditional version which is a shared experience in a large room, or a private session. Either way, treat yourself to Morocco’s foremost beauty products including: Beldi Soap, rhassoul clay, and argan oil.  If opting for the traditional version, make sure to stop at the souk and pick up your own products to bring with you on the way.

Essaouira Market

Afterwards, make your way to the old fortress to watch the sun go down. Stroll along the walls of the medina on the way to browse the shops and art galleries there. There is a good selection of restaurants for dinner in the medina to suit your mood and budget.

Essaouira is known for its vibrant music scene.  Luminaries who have spent time in Essaouira include Jimi Hendrix and Bob Marley, whose presence is still felt today in the town’s low key, boho vibe.  Essaouira is the host of the annual Gnaoua World Music Festival, but it is not unusual to stumble across an improptu concert in the main square.

Day 2.
Take a drive south toward Agadir. It’s a beautiful drive through the argan forests. You’ll see goats in trees and some typical Moroccan villages. There are several argan cooperatives along the way to stop in and see how the nuts are cracked. Make sure to try the amlou with bread, a mixture of almonds honey and argan oil.

Argan forest

If you are feeling ambitious, continue approximately 2 hours south to reach Agadir. There is a beautiful stretch of unspoiled coastline before you reach Agadir and multiple spots for surfing. Have lunch at any of the restaurants along the boardwalk of Agadir before heading back.

 

Where to Stay
L’Heure Bleue $$$
Luxury in a traditional Moroccan riad decorated in a Colonial Style.  I recommend lunch by the rooftop pool with a great view of Essaouira.

Madada Mogador $$$
A boutique hotel decorated in traditional Moroccan finishes with rooms on the ramparts overlooking the water and the medina.

36 Hours in Essaouira
Iconic blue boats in Essaouira’s port

Interview with 312 Beauty: Beauty My Way

March 22, 2016

I first met Laurie Leopold of 312 Beauty at A Night For Green Beauty in Chicago.  I have long been a fan for her intelligent writing and grounded approach to beauty.  Case in point:  the last statement in her manifesto reads  “I may write about pretty things but let’s not get it twisted—things are not what the world is about.”  Love that!  I didn’t hesitate when she asked me to answer some questions for her blog.  The full interview follows.

Kahina Oils and Moisturizers

 

My gateway into the skin healing world of face oils was argan. There weren’t many around marketed for your face and face alone about six years ago. Now, it’s widespread. One of the early adapters of argan oil – maybe thee founder among indie brands – is Kahina Giving Beauty’s Katharine L’Heureux. Katharine works closely with the Berber women of Morocco to ensure that not only is she making the highest quality products but doing so while protecting the natural, human and cultural resources that help make it happen. I think it’s awesome that her business is founded in supporting and protecting women and she is also bringing Moroccan beauty rituals to us in really luxurious and special ways. Beldi soap, anyone?

For any of us that think we know the path we’re on, I hope you’re as energized as I am by Katharine’s story of personal and professional transformation from PR girl to mom to beauty globetrotter. Life is unexpected but it’s the connections we make throughout it that can change everything.

Kat mixing it up copy

What was life like pre-Kahina for you?
My life pre-Kahina was very different from what it is today. I had an early career in public relations, but became a stay-at-home mom in New York City in 2001 when my children were young. I rarely traveled except to our family vineyard in the Napa Valley. Now, I have just a twelve year old at home (the other two are in college), I travel 1-2 weeks out of every month and am busy with the day-to-day operations of Kahina.

How has travel impacted your life? Do you view the world differently?
Travel has enriched my life in so many ways, and given me a perspective on the world that I wouldn’t otherwise have. It has been especially enlightening to spend so much time in Morocco, a Muslim country and meet lovely people I have come to know there. I am fortunate to have had experiences that help me see beyond political rhetoric and to have made good friends that allow me to see beyond simplistic labels.

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The Berber women extracting argan oil

What beauty traditions and rituals have you learned from other cultures that you now practice?
When I discovered argan oil on my first trip to Morocco in 2007, I was unaccustomed to using pure oil on my face, which I have since learned is a traditional practice in many cultures. Now, I can’t imagine going without it. I am most intrigued by holistic beauty rituals incorporating regional ingredients and traditions passed down through generations. In Morocco, these include argan oil, prickly pear seed oil, rhassoul clay, rose water and beldi soap. Not only do these natural ingredients work, their farming, harvesting and production techniques help to preserve centuries-old knowledge and traditions while supporting rural populations. The awareness of the history of these ingredients and the people behind them enriches my own beauty experience.

What makeup and haircare do you bring with you on trips?
I keep it really simple when I travel. Argan oil is my best friend for giving me glowing skin and making my hair more manageable. Makeup is minimal, usually our Kahina Lip & Face Balm and sunglasses. If I want something a little extra, I’ll wear a little lipstick (Ilia) and mascara (W3LL People). For shampooing, I use Acure Organics.

 

Essaouira fortress wallsFortress walls of Essaouira, Morocco; namesake of Kahina’s Essasouira Perfume Oil

You just released a new perfume oil inspired by the Moroccan coastal city of Essaouira. What is the story of this scent and what you wanted it to convey?
Essaouira is a very laid-back beach town on the Atlantic Coast 2 hours outside of Marrakech. The charming port town colonized by the Portuguese in the 1500’s has been attracting poets, scholars, craftsmen and artists for centuries and remains a dynamic center of art and music today. Jimi Hendrix and Bob Marley both famously spent time there, making it a big draw for music lovers and giving it something of a hippy vibe today. I love how many worlds collide in this small town, which combines European and Moroccan influences, while maintaining its low-key beach vibe. In Essaouira, we wanted to emulate this breezy, exotic and somewhat sophisticated flavor with rose, geranium, lavender, sandalwood, petitgrain and blue tansy essential oils.

Is there a moment in Kahina’s history that stands out in your memory?
Kahina has been such an amazing adventure since it began almost 9 years ago, with so many stories and lessons learned along the way. I’ll never forget my first, order of argan oil from a cooperative. I had no experience in international commerce. I was dealing through a translator with women who only spoke Berber, so we couldn’t communicate directly and they had never shipped their oil to the U.S. before! I ordered 20 liters of oil and had it shipped via the Royal Moroccan postal service. I didn’t even get a receipt or tracking information and assumed it was lost. Three months later, I received a call from the post office at our house in Ulster County New York saying that a suspicious looking wooden crate nailed together was there with my name on it. I am amazed it ever arrived. My name and address in the US, scribed by these women, were barely legible, literally scrawled on the wood in black ink. The US Postal Service earned my respect that day. Of course, things are a bit more buttoned up at Kahina now.

Thanks, Katharine!

 

 

Introducing our All-Natural Essaouira Perfume Oil

March 15, 2016

EssaouiraPerfume_Boxandbottle_inprogress copyWarmer temps are finally here and we’re ready for the lighter scents of the new season.  Following on the heels of our beloved FEZ fragrance, which Elle Beauty director adopted as her signature scent for winter 2016, we’re excited to introduce ESSAOUIRA, a perfume oil inspired by the breezy seaside village of Morocco and based on the scent of the Body Serum of the same name.

A 100% natural perfume oil made from a blend of pure steam distilled essential oils, the new Essaouira Perfume Oil is a fresh, crisp fragrance combining sophisticated floral notes with a hint of the exotic. Rose, lavender, herbaceous geranium and woodsy sandalwood provide a soft floral scent while petitgrain lifts and brightens, a combination that evokes the essence of the Moroccan port town.

Worlds collide in the blue and white washed coastal town of Essaouira (pronounced [es-uh-weer-uh]), just over two hours outside Marrakech. Essaouira literally translated means “beautifully designed.” It is a town rich in culture and beauty, merging 18th Century European design with the mysteries of Morocco, drawing in those seeking a more carefree, unhurried lifestyle with a boho vibe.

The travel-sized roll-on package is made of recyclable violet glass to block out damaging UV rays and preserve the natural ingredients inside. A fresh take on traditional Moroccan tiles and the indigo dye native to the region, the outer packaging was designed by our friend Amira Marion of Archive New York.

100% Natural 88.73% Certified Organic
Size: 15 ml / 0.5 fl. Oz

A Look Inside Kahina Giving Beauty: Goodbeing Q&A with Katharine L’Heureux

March 11, 2016

Kahina’s Brightening Serum is featured in this month’s subscription box from Goodbeing. Katharine took a moment to answer a few questions for their blog. Read the full interview below and check out Goodbeing’s wonderful, personalized natural beauty and wellness boxes here.

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Kahina Giving Beauty created by Katharine L’Heureux is a stunning Organic Skincare brand that preserves, protects and enhances the ritual experience by harnessing the power of nature in a sustainable way, and lifting the people who work hard to grow, harvest and produce the ingredients used in these gorgeous formulations. Take a peak inside the world of Katherine L’Heureux with us below.
If you were stranded on a desert island, what three (beauty & wellness) products could you not live without? You have food and water.
Argan oil, beldi soap for cleansing, lipstick (am I there alone?)
What is your morning beauty routine? evening?
I drink a cup of warm water with lemon first thing when I wake up. Then cleanse with Kahina Facial Cleanser, spritz a little Toning Mist on, then apply a few pumps of Brightening Serum. I follow this with an oil (right now I’m loving our Prickly Pear Seed Oil), then moisuturize with our Facial Lotion. I always finish with a couple dabs of our Eye Serum.
I shower in the evening with our Beldi Soap, using the exfoliating mitt a couple times a week. While I’m in the shower I apply our Antioxidant Mask, letting it sit for a few minutes before massaging it into my skin for polishing. Out of the shower I apply a Body Serum while still damp. For my face, I cleanse, then spritz with Toning Mist again and follow with the Kahina Serum. Afterwards, I massage the Night Cream into my skin and follow with the Eye Cream.
What 3 tips or tricks can you share for feeling and looking your best?
Plenty of water and good fats, staying active, and a great natural skincare regime
What’s your favorite part about running Kahina?
The opportunity to travel, and the amazing people I meet along the way
What’s a trend in the beauty industry you’d like to see grow?
More green niche brands doing it right
What beauty trend would you like to see disappear?
The concept of beauty trends. Individuals need to discover what works best for them, regardless of trends, and stick with a product if its doing the trick. This doesn’t only apply to the beauty category.
Of the products you make, which is your favorite?
I don’t play favorites. I use each of the products in the line, and find each one to be absolutely necessary. But if I have to choose one, I must admit that at the moment I am loving our Prickly Pear Seed Oil.
What sets Kahina apart from other lines on the market today?
Kahina was one of the pioneers of the “luxury organic” category, bringing luxury packaging and efficacy to the natural market. We combine time-tested organic and natural ingredients with modern technology to provide effective formulations and package them for the discerning customer. But what really makes us stand out, I think, is our dedication to sustainability from the ground up, beginning with sourcing the best organic ingredients, to our recycled and recyclable packaging, and finally to our support of the women who extract the oil at the heart of our line. At Kahina Giving Beauty, we go beyond Fair Trade requirements and donate an additional percentage of our revenue to support the Berber women of Morocco.
We all know healthy beauty starts with what we put in our bodies. What 3 tips can you share about beauty from the inside out? (think superfoods, supplements, teas, elixirs and the like)
I am a huge proponent of eating healthy fats, like avocado and wild-caught salmon. I try to get my vitamins through food, but take a Women’s One Daily vitamin and fish oil. In the winter, I add some liquid Vitamin D. For a little extra boost, I love “8 Immortals Dragon Drops” from Dragon Herbs and Virgin Raw Foods’ Bee Panacea, Kusmi Detox tea and Probiotics by Health Force or Clean Program. Is that more than 3?
Serious stuff. Which ingredients do you avoid at all costs?
I am not that rigid in my life, and believe that most things are fine in moderation. I make an effort to stay away from processed foods, especially white bread and sugar. The only thing you would probably never see me consume is soda. As to what goes into my products, I am much more strict.
What do you do to stay active and why?
Living in New York with a twelve year old at home keeps me active. I walk everywhere I go, which adds up. When I feel that I need something extra, which isn’t often, I will do yoga or head to the gym. In the summer, I swim and hike.

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Skincare Quiz: Five Answers and a Winner

March 2, 2016

Congratulations to Aubrey K., winner of our Skincare Quiz. She had all the right answers, plus the lucky chance to be selected from the many correct respondents.

Curious to check your answers? See the right responses in bold below.

      1. What is another name for soothing and calming blue tansy?
        • Violet pansy
        • Tanzanian bleuets
        • Moroccan chamomile
      2. Prickly Pear Seed Oil requires ______ of prickly pear fruit to get 1 liter of oil.
        • Nearly a kilo
        • Nearly a pound
        • Nearly a ton
      3. Why can dark undereye circles be more dramatic in winter?
        Dark under eye circles show up even more when our skin is at its palest, and cold weather can lead to more stagnant circulation and undereye puffiness. 
      4. What is the benefit of rice in our Toning Mist?
        • Moisturizing
        • Antiseptic
        • Plumping
      5. What plant is this?

What plant is this?

        • Rhodiola rosea
        • Betaine blossom
        • Prickly pear cactus flower

 

Katharine L'Heureux in Morocco

About Katharine

Katharine's lifelong pursuit of natural skincare that works finally culminated in a trip to Morocco where she discovered the effectiveness of pure argan oil. Working with a chemist specializing in organic cosmetics, she developed the Kahina line to fulfill her own desire for a simple yet effective organic skin care regimen.

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