Meet Your Maker: The Gurus Behind Healthy Beauty Boutique Follain


The world of green beauty is growing, but it can still be a bit elusive at times. You have to order your new organic lip color online, praying (praying) that the actual shade matches the swatch on your computer screen. You have to hightail it across town to Whole Foods to restock your favorite shampoo so you don’t look like a swamp creature the next day at work (it’s either that or resort to your old sulfate-riddled shampoo lurking in the medicine cabinet…never surrender!).

So, what do you do when when you unexpectedly stumble upon a complete cornucopia of your favorite natural skincare and beauty products, laid out in a beautiful space, curated by green beauty pros that you’ve revered and followed for some time?

Uhhh, freak out, obviously!

That’s what I did when I discovered the temporary Follain pop-up boutique earlier this year at Union Market in my home city of Washington, DC.

Literally, I went out for home fries and and came home with RMS Beauty “Un” Cover-Up in shade 11, ILIA Tinted Lip Conditioner in Arabian Knights, and a whole lot of inspiration and happy vibes from the incredible Follain team.

If you’re not familiar with Follain: it’s an absolutely beautiful, Boston-based shop that stocks healthy skincare, haircare and cosmetic products. They carry 30+ of the best natural U.S.-made lines, like Soapwalla, Herbivore Botanicals, Farmaesthetics, and so much more. While the DC pop-up is closed for the time-being, they’ve expanded to a second shop in Nantucket, and best of all, you can get the Follain experience anywhere: their online shop is live!


I had a complete fangirl moment over the team behind Follain, founder Tara Foley and director of health and safety Holly Moore. I’d been a longtime fan of Tara’s insightful green beauty blog, The NATURAL CHEMYST, so it was a real treat to meet these two healthy beauty savants. They are some of the most knowledgable women I’ve met in the biz…they truly understand every facet of green beauty and have so much knowledge and experience to share: packaging, product, ingredients. They are deeply committed to making real change in the personal care industry as a whole, shedding light on the harsh chemical ingredients in mainstream products and celebrating the wholesome, healthy and effective natural ingredients in the lines they curate and carry. They’re already well on their way!

Anyway, enough fangirl-ing…I’ll let you hear about this shop’s wonder straight from Tara, Holly and Ashley, the Follain team. Read on to discover how Follain’s refillable soap program is spurring positive behavior change in Boston, a list of these healthy beauty pros’ favorite products, some AWESOME DIYs, and a bunch more.


Think Like a Hippie, Smell Like a Rose: Soapwalla Deodorant Cream

Soapwalla Deodorant Cream

Leave it to me to talk about armpits in entry #1 of this blog. Who’s excited?!

No, our underarms are certainly not the most glamorous part of our bodies, but for me, natural deodorant was my “gateway drug” to chemical-free/organic/natural skin, hair and beauty products. After I tossed my “dirty” deodorant, my chemically enhanced cleanser, moisturizers, shampoo, body wash and makeup soon followed.

What’s so bad about deodorant, you ask? That stuff keeps me from smelling like a barnyard.

Traditional deodorant has been one of the poster children for harmful skincare products. “Your deodorant causes breast cancer!” said the media. “Antiperspirants cause Alzheimers!” cried the blogs. These claims freaked me out. But the truth is, they’re a bit hyperbolized. Here’s a peek at what I do know:

  • A 2004 study found parabens in 18 out of 20 human breast tumors (before you shout this from the mountains, note that the study didn’t test healthy breast tissue as a control…d’oh). Parabens, some of which the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database flag as highly hazardous endocrine disruptors and allergens, among other scary things, might be found in your (not so) trusty ol’ stick deodorant. In my opinion, they are best to avoid in every beauty/skincare product (they’re in pretty much everything), whether or not the case against them is conclusive.
  • Aluminum, which makes up key compounds used in antiperspirants, has been linked to Alzheimer’s and dementia since the ‘60s. Studies connecting the two continue to emerge, but whether or not aluminum in antiperspirants (and elsewhere: aluminum is all over the place, even in our water and some veggies) definitively causes memory loss remains to be seen.
  • Check out our spirit guides at No More Dirty Looks for more on other controversial chemicals commonly found in antiperspirants, like triclosan and BHT.

Conclusive? Nah, but alarming enough for me to stick my hippie flag in the ground and declare war on the white stuff. Our mom always taught us to be safe (or in this case, smelly) rather than sorry. Lucky for me, and hopefully you, all-natural Soapwalla Deodorant Cream delivers on the dream of clean, chemical-free coverage. The online community seems to unanimously agree that Soapwalla is one of the go-to, works-for-everyone, all-natural deodorants. I am now a member of that chorus. This product freaking rocks, is uncompromisingly all-natural (contains absolutely nothing sketchy or scary) and keeps me so fresh and so clean-clean. Let’s walk through it.