While perusing the NaturallyCurly Editors’ Choice submissions for 2015, my eyes fell upon Belle Butters. There it was: Unyevu Butter. Finally, I had the opportunity to try the product that is loved by numerous naturals, including my coworker Evelyn and her fave blogger HeyFranHey. This butter heals any crack or crevice in the driest of winters, leaving your skin soft all day.
I met Tasha, owner of Belle Butters, in February at Texture On the Runway, and never in my life have I seen someone’s skin glow in a dimly lit room…in New York…when the temperature was only one digit. Her skin’s texture and tone was clearly the archetype that the Samsung S6 engineers used to create the beautify camera feature that eliminates pores and evens skin. By that time I had already reached out to Tasha, so it was great to put a name to face. But enough of me raving about her products and epidermis levels, now Tasha can tell you how she’s smoothing canvases and banning ashiness one shea butter whip at a time.
Introduce yourself & why you do what you do.
My name is Tasha and I’m the owner of Belle Butters, a premium all natural handmade hair and body care company. I make quality products by hand because I know they work and that the customer expects it to do as such. I also do what I do because I love it!
Describe what sets Belle Butters apart from other skin care brands.
Productive effectiveness. I describe what the product’s intention is and how it should perform and they meet and/or exceed the customer’s expectations. My brand aesthetic and product images are also unique. I also sell prints of my photos.
Let’s talk quality standards. How do you define “natural products” and what are your products free of?
Vegetable, fruit, or plant based is considered natural. Whether that’s a seed pressing, extract, or powder, it must be derived from that veggie, fruit, or plant. My products are vegan and free from mineral oil, sulfates, and parabens with the exception of the lip balm because it uses beeswax.
Why take the artisanal route vs. mass production?
Part of being a creative is being able to take something from your mind and producing it. To continue the practice of this, you become a master at it. Mass production doesn’t give the creative the same satisfaction, because it’s not as hands on. Also, when it comes to handmade, you should expect the highest quality. Sure, equipment can be set and gauged to produce a product at a certain quality, but by hand, you’re better able to see what you’re doing and go the extra mile with what you’re making.
What are the skin care concerns that Belle Butters address?
Excessively dry skin, hair, eczema, psoriasis, uneven skin tone and texture, oily skin, acne and so on
If you were to categorize your skin care butters by seasons, where would they fall?
The bulk of my items can be used all year-round. While some customers may choose something lighter for the summer, I still have many that will use a body butter during that time of year. I do not like to put many limits on my products so the customers are able to be creative on how they use them for their needs.
Getting into the mix
Black Currant and Lavender Oil Cleanser: Can this function as a dual overnight treatment?
No, I would not recommend it for overnight treatment. The purpose of oil cleansing is to draw out the gunk that other cleansers don’t usually remove because they tend to only clean the surface. So, while the oil is drawing dirt from deeper within the skin to the surface, it should be removed. Letting this sit on your skin overnight may cause a breakout.
Avo-Cocoa Facial Polish: What makes this scrub gentler than other scrubs with walnut powder?
The walnut shell powder can be purchased in a fine or coarse grain. The powder is gentler because it is much finer than salt and sugar. Ask any esthetician about scrubs and they will tell you to proceed with caution. They have equipment capable of viewing the skin’s surface that we cannot see with our human eye and some scrubs can cause scratches to appear on the surface of the skin. I’ve had a few estheticians try this product and loved how it felt.
Neutralizing Butter for Oily Skin: Is this an overnight masque? How do you use this product?
This is not intended for overnight use either, although I’ve had a few customers say they have used it this way without any problems. The product is used nightly the first week, then every other night during the second week, then every 2-3 days during the third week until the customer is able to use the product once a week.
Cleansing pad: How often should this be replaced and how do you clean it?
Any mild cleanser can be used to clean the cleansing pad before and after use. So long as the pad is cleansed properly when used, it can be used for 1-2 years. The cleansing pad is only put to use 2-3 times a week.
Silky outdoor tanning butter: What are the SPF properties in this product?
The natural spf of the ingredients in this butter range between 10-15 for each ingredient listed. This is very low on the scale, so it is not intended to be used when planning to be outdoors for several hours at a time. At a maximum use when planning to be outdoors for no more than 30 min.
Lady Belle Roller Ball Perfume: How do I apply this to assure the fragrance lingers all day?
There’s a common misconception that fragrances should be applied to pressure points for them to last longer, but this is not true. For longer wear, I like to apply it to the length of my forearm, on the top, and the bottom and rubbing my two forearms together to get it to absorb. I also like to apply it to my decolletage. The rollerball is oil based and not alcohol based, which means it will not dry out like the common perfume. Rub it in so that it is absorbed by the skin and doesn’t come off onto your clothing.
How important is it that your butters stay in solid form?
Not all butters are solid. Most whipped butters are creamy, and if it is solid, it is because the butter used is firm at room temperature and is formulated in a product where the butter will remain firm. For the most part, if a butter melts, it’s totally okay, considering the butter isn’t exposed to extreme high heat for a long period of time, which can change the efficacy.
What are your favorite natural preservatives?
Vitamin E and some fruit and vegetable oils like grapeseed oil
How do your customers inspire you?
I love it when customers use their products in ways I had never imagined. For example, a customer’s baby had cradle cap and the creams the doctor prescribed were not working. The customer mixed some of her breast milk with the Unyevu Butter and it cleared it up! I also had a customer use the Avo-Cocoa Facial Polish on their scalp to exfoliate it. If anyone plans to use it in this way, I want to preface this by stating that you should make sure you do not have any outstanding issues with your scalp before exfoliating with the polish, as it can exacerbate the current issue you may be having. Please avoid using the polish on the scalp especially if you experience dandruff/inflammation of the skin on your scalp.
Share your skin care regimen.
Nightly I use the Black Currant & Lavender Oil Cleanser and that is usually followed by the Mango Moisture Butter for Face (spring-fall) or the Beau Balm (winter). Once a week I exfoliate with the Avo-Cocoa Facial Polish (I don’t exfoliate very often because I have rosacea and dermatitis). When needed, I use the Neutralizing Butter for Oily Skin to detox my skin once a week (typically during the summer when I’m outdoors more).
What’s on your vanity and what’s in your purse?
My purse contains the necessities in addition to two lip balms, 3-4 tubes of lipstick in basic colors, the Lady Belle Rollerball Perfume, a small jar of Premium Whipped Shea Butter, my moleskine, a pen, business cards, an extra cord, and brick or portable charger for when my cell battery is low. I have a vanity (I’ve yet to assemble it), but I will then transfer most of my jewelry, hair accessories, stones and a few other items to it.
What are your best sellers and what are your favorites?
My top-selling products are (in order) the Unyevu Butter, the Premium Whipped Shea Butter, and the Double Agent Butter. My favorite right now is the Double Agent Butter. When my hair was loose (I have locs currently), it was my go-to for keeping my hair very soft and shiny and my skin loves it.
Where can we find Belle Butters?
You can purchase online at Belle Butters. If you live in St. Louis, some items are carried at Mesa Home in the Cherokee Arts District.
What skin care tip do you live by?
You can put unicorn tears on your face, but if you eat poorly, you undo the work.
Anything coming soon?
A body oil and a masque will be back in the shop by spring.
Follow Belle Butters here: