Fresh has been a makeup bag staple since their Sugar Cherry Lip Treatment entered my life last summer, and re-ignited my love of their indulgent lip colour/balm hybrids. So you can imagine what a treat it was to meet co-founder Lev Glazman back in January on his first ever trip to Vancouver, and find out more about Fresh's roots and its expanding array of skincare products.
To understand how groundbreaking Fresh was in its marriage of old traditions and ingredients with new technologies, one must rewind to 1991, when the beauty industry was dominated by synthetics. Forget organic and natural alternatives; using sugar, honey, and tea in products was practically unheard of.
However, these old-school ingredients were the stuff of Glazman's childhood in the former Soviet Union. The women in his family created skincare remedies in their kitchens and purchased French fragrance at a formidable markup from the black market. Their staunch love of beauty has left a lasting impression on Glazman, who, even today, opines beauty is the most affordable, accessible luxury. To understand beauty is to understand a ritual, a lifestyle.
Glazman, along with fellow founder Alina Roytberg, started small in 1991 with a collection of fancy soaps. Today, the line also encompasses skin, body, and hair care, as well as men's grooming and fragrance. As always, Fresh's mission remains the same: to provide products that deliver clinically proven results using the best of traditional and modern ingredients, all while giving the user a delightful sensory experience.
Let's take a closer look at some of Fresh's offerings, shall we?
The Fresh Black Tea collection is inspired by the black tea mixed with honey, echinacea, and raspberries that Glazman's grandmother used to make him when he was sick, and by his obsession with kombucha. Initial research showed that black tea has higher polyphenol and tannin (a natural anti-septic) levels than green tea, but it still took 4 years of further work and clinical trials to achieve the perfect anti-aging formula. The Black Tea products boast a veritable cocktail of potent anti-oxidants—black tea extract and ferment, blackberry extract, noni fruit juice, lychee seed extract—proven to protect, soothe, and improve hydration, tone, and texture. (Oh, and FYI, Glazman and his daughters are addicted to the Age-Delay Eye Concentrate.)
Lush textures and invigorating scents make the Fresh masks a pleasure to use for the line's devotees. If you follow freshbeauty on Instagram, you may have noticed their #SundaySkincare series—a wonderful reminder to slow down and indulge in the ritual of skincare once a week.
While the Black Tea collection targets anti-aging concerns in more mature skin, the Lotus collection boosts hydration and radiance and is suitable for all ages. Each product has a cool-to-the-touch, quick-absorbing texture that feels downright luxurious.
The cult fave Lip Treatments need no introduction. My favourite remains Cherry, which is the perfect pop of sheer red on days when matte lipstick seems like too much.
As a parting gift, I received a sigh-worthy treasure trove of Fresh products to test at home. Look out for my impressions of various products in the following weeks!