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When Makeup Artists Embrace Plant-Based Skincare

Kim Borio used to work as a makeup artist for politicians and Olympians, and now she spends her time mining for rose quartz in raw clay.

When Kim Borio realized she was dealt the card of sensitive skin, she turned to the garden and transformed plants and flowers into gold— skincare gold, that is. After much experimentation on herself, family, and friends, she developed an insatiable desire to create a skincare line based on essential oils and botanical extracts sourced from land and sea. She travelled around the world in search of beauty secrets and soon met her partner, Eric– a Cosmetic Chemist who would eventually help transform her dream into a reality.

Last year, Kim and Eric’s company, Glycelene— whose name is an ode to organic glycerin— won Best New Beauty Product of 2015 for a product known as their Rejuvenation Créme. Today, the duo makes a plush line of vegan products including a Seatox Mist (made with cucumber, chamomile, and rosemary) as well as a new line of cacti- and succulent-infused products that will be debuting soon.

Kim Borio used to work as a makeup artist for politicians and Olympians, and now she spends her time mining for rose quartz in raw clay. Garden Collage recently caught up with Borio to discuss Glycelene, plant-based skincare, and the healing power of beauty products sourced from Mother Nature herself.

GC: What is your relationship with plants and flowers?

KB: I’ve had a very close relationship with plants, flowers, herbs, and succulents since childhood. My mom and I used to make our own tinctures, creams and ointments from all sorts of different things in the garden, including my favorite vegetable, the cucumber. These extracts seemed to be the only thing that healed my [sensitive] skin. As I grew older, I would create toners to help with my acne and sunburnt skin. Then, I would create soothing creams for my dry skin from hours of swimming in the pool and surfing in the ocean.

GC: What was your life like before launching Glycelene?

KB: Before I met Eric and created Glycelene, I was traveling the globe, going from country to country, trying to find beauty secrets from each location I went to. I called my adventures “Beauty Secrets From Around The World”. I had a radio show called “Beauty By Kim”, and I was working as a celebrity make-up artist specializing in high-definition TV makeup. I’ve taught my makeup and skin techniques at AOFM in London, which is attended by other pro makeup artists from all over the world.

I ended up getting into fashion makeup and working London Fashion Week with high fashion models and designers. I’ve worked on everything from The Tonight Show and Soap Operas to World Cups and The Olympics. I dined with royalty, politicians, and professional athletes (before I did their makeup) and also worked with many reality shows.

“Last year, Kim and Eric’s company, Glycelene, won Best New Beauty Product of 2015 for an item known as Rejuvenation Créme… A new line of cacti- and succulent-infused products will be debuting soon.”

GC: Your partner is a Cosmetic Chemist— tell me about his background and how you’ve worked together to establish this line.

KB: My partner is a Biologist, Microbiologist and Cosmetic Chemist with extensive knowledge in Botany. Eric was the Cosmetic Chemist I was looking for my whole life. His specialty was natural formulations that are results-driven. He is an innovative R&D chemist, so he’s always looking for the next challenge. I definitely gave him a challenge in creating Glycelene. I told him I wanted to re-invent Petroleum Jelly, but wanted it to be vegan, natural, organic, breathable, anti-aging, and healing.

After many attempts, we came up with our own technology and created “The Beauty Ointment” with organic glycerin, so we named the brand, Glycelene [pronounced gliss-uh-leen]. Every product we create contains this organic glycerin.

GC: What is your daily beauty routine like?

KB: Extensive. I wake up spritzing Seatox Mist on my face, rolling Eye Repair Oil under my eyes, slathering Beauty Serum on my face, and Beauty Ointment on my lips. That’s just to have coffee. Then I apply Luxury Cleanser to dry skin, massage, get in the shower, and rinse.

Twice a week, I’ll apply Gem Polish [which contains the rose quartz she mined for] to exfoliate dry skin, then I massage, let the minerals detox the skin for a few minutes, jump in the shower, and rinse. After the shower, I spritz on [more] Seatox Mist, apply Beauty Serum, Opalescent Eye Serum, Rejuvenation Crème, Beauty Ointment under eyes and around lips. I always apply Glisten Body Balm in lavender after a shower, in the morning.

“I wanted Glycelene to be vegan because I do not believe in animal cruelty or using animals in beauty products. There are plenty of plants and botanicals that can be used instead.”

At night, I clean my face with Cucumber Cleansing Water, mist with Stem•C Mist or Beauty Mist, apply Beauty Serum, Stem•C Serum and Repair Crème, then Skin Supplement–Luxury Face Oil on top of that, and Beauty Ointment. During the day time I always have Femme De Rose and Mint Julep Lip balms, The Beauty Ointment in lavender, and Seatox Mist with me. I also roll on my organic essential oil blends throughout the day and evening.

GC: Why was creating a line that is vegan, natural, and organic important to you?

KB: I wanted an eco-friendly, results-driven line that was natural, vegan and made with organic and wild-crafted ingredients with amazing aromas. I needed this line for my own skin and I knew there were other people out there that wanted the same thing. I did not want any silicones, synthetic perfumes, dyes, or petroleum-derived ingredients. I wanted [Glycelene to be] vegan because I do not believe in animal cruelty or using any animal product or bi-product in beauty products. There are plenty of plants and botanicals that can be used instead.

GC: Tell us about your forthcoming cactus and succulent products.

KB: We are coming out with a detox collagen-building mask and an anti-aging, Cactus Cooling Collagen Mask– vegan of course. Collagen itself is not vegan, but instead we are using collagen-building plant extracts. We are also coming out with various oxygen treatments and enzyme peels. The Oasis Collection will have exotic Moroccan roses, succulents, and beautiful botanical-based face and body treatments.

GC: Have you considered opening a Glycelene Spa?

KB: Yes, I would like to open Glycelene Spas on the West Coast and in Hawaii, and then go from there! I envision the Spa to be eco-luxurious, tranquil, yet glamorous. I want people to know they’re getting the best of the best. The spa will be very detail-oriented with different aromas and treatments customized for the clients’ needs, that day. I always want to let the client know they’re cared for and understood; this is the extra personal touch that I feel would make my spa an unforgettable experience.

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