If you know me at all, you’ll know that I am a makeup and skincare fiend. The amount of money that I spend on both combined is insane—like, enough to warrant entry into some kind of 12-step program.
I don’t really discriminate about where I buy my makeup from. I definitely frequent Sephora and Ulta the most, but Target, Meijer, Walmart, CVS, Walgreens and even Kohls have a solid selection, respectively. When my friend Andrea of Blonde Bedhead told me about a new makeup store in Ann Arbor, I knew I had to check it out for myself.
Wajid and I recently made a day trip to Ann Arbor and, despite not really having a game-plan for our day, we knew that Vosenna was the one place we needed to go. I had told him that I wanted to blog about the store and so, even though he doesn’t care anything about makeup, he insisted that we couldn’t head home before stopping by. He’s the best and I could talk about him all day but I’ll spare you the mushy details.
I’m super into makeup and skincare, but I my experience with natural products is essentially nonexistent. Furthermore, I had never been to an independent make up store! I honestly had no idea what to expect so, like a true millennial, I had to do some Facebook/Instagram investigating. If I’m being honest, no Instagram photo could have done the experience of shopping at Vosenna justice.
First of all, walking into Vosenna is like walking into an indie makeup paradise where nothing is tested on animals, most things are vegan and (almost) everything is made in the United States. I was able to swatch products, test them out, feel them on my skin and smell them (which is important to me because I’m weirdly sensitive to smells). As much as I love online shopping, there is something to said about visiting a brick and mortar store. Nothing compares to being able to swatch products, see the color payoff for yourself, feel the formulas and experience makeup in real life. I left the store that day covered in glittery, glossy, pigmented swatches and couldn’t have been happier.
Another thing that made shopping at Vosenna such a great experience was Elizabeth, the owner. She was kind enough to give me a tour of the store and talk through each brand, and each product with me. I had so much fun learning about all the different lines she carries, why she loves them and which products are her favorites. I’ve never experienced customer service like that at any other cosmetic store, or any store of any kind for that matter!
If I’m being honest, I’ve never really given much thought about the ingredients that are in the products that I use, until it was brought to my attention. I guess I’ve always just assumed that if you can buy it in the store (and use it on your face, lips, eyes, etc.) it must be safe and regulated by the government. It turns out that isn’t necessarily the case. Yikes.
To be fair, it is true in some cases. For example, the EU has banned 1,328 chemicals from being used in cosmetics and skincare. Do you know how many are banned in the U.S.? 30. Gotta love American capitalism.
After high-profile lawsuits like the Johnson & Johnson case where talc in their products was linked to ovarian cancer, consumers are becoming increasingly cognizant about what we put on our bodies—and we should be!
If I’m being honest, I’ve been a little leery of natural beauty because a) I didn’t realize how many chemicals were in products and the potentical implications and b) brands like Goop have made me cynical. Of course I see the benefits of “natural” or “clean” beauty, but I don’t think everyone should run out and steam their vagina because Gwyneth Paltrow is peddling pseudo-science to the masses.
If you have the same jaded attitude I do, don’t let that steer you away from Vosenna. Yes, the store is full to the brim with natural, vegan, cruelty-free products, but it’s also free from Goop-esque BS—and the products are good.
SUPPORTING LOCAL BUSINESS
If I love anything, it’s makeup and supporting local businesses. From farmers markets to Michigan-brewed beer, I prefer to put my money back into my local and state economy and I love that Vosenna allows me to do that.
One of my favorite things about Vosenna is the fact that it houses so many awesome indie brands in one place. I had heard people rave about Girlactik, Skindinavia and Fat and the Moon for a long time, but had never bothered purchasing anything from any of them because I didn’t know where to buy them and sometimes have reservations about buying makeup online (and also paying for shipping is the bane of my existence).
I spent some time talking to Elizabeth and love her enthusiasm and passion for natural, better-for-you (and the earth!) products, and her entrepreneurial spirit.
Few things are more inspiring to me than people who have decided to just do something, no matter how big of a risk it might be. At the heart of Vosenna is a woman who loved better-for-you makeup and skincare so much that she went out on a limb and and opened a small business where she could share her love of those products, and her knowledge, with the world—and I think we can all agree that’s awesome.
WHAT I GOT
After mentioning to Elizabeth that I had tried natural deodorants in the past, but was always disappointed in their performance (read: I still stink) she gave me the Rustic Maka Natural Deodorant to try. I’ve been using it religiously since I got it and I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how well it works. It smells good, lasts all day and doesn’t have any nasty chemicals in it. I’m sold.
Another thing that I bought and couldn’t wait to use was the Fat and the Moon Pimple Mud. As someone who has dealt with acne for the last 10+ years, I have tried just about everything under the sun to combat acne and oily skin. Let me tell you, this stuff is the truth. I ran home and used the mask they day I got it and have continued to use it multiple times per week since. My favorite thing about it is that it’s super versatile. Sometimes I’ll use it all over my face as a face mask and other days I’ll use it to spot treat active breakouts (which have been plentiful lately, FML). I’ll be honest—it doesn’t smell amazing, but it works and that’s all that matters. If I put this on a breakout before bed, by the time I wake up it will be be noticeably smaller and less red, or even gone completely. Go buy this, now!
The other thing I purchased was the Katherine Cosmetics highlighter. As Elizabeth showed me around the store, I zeroed in on the highlighter and knew I couldn’t leave the store without it in tow.
This highlighter is gluten free, paraben free and cruelty free and also blinding. I have tried every highlighter known to man and this one is incredible. It is buttery, blendable, buildable and all around stunning. I am obsessed with this. If you love a good highlight, I can’t recommend this enough.
I can’t say enough good things about Vosenna and about Elizabeth. I can’t wait to stop back in the next time I’m in Ann Arbor to pick up more indie makeup.
Vosenna is a new(ish) indie makeup store in Ann Arbor full of good-for-you (and the planet!) makeup, skincare products and fragrance for men and women alike. I 100 percent recommend stopping by if you’re in Ann Arbor—or making a special trip to see it.