Hand on heart, I wasn’t intending on purchasing any more beauty products this month. Then, having watched the Beauty Heroes Youtube video featuring Michelle Ravanat, founder of Ranavat Botanics, I was riveted by her splendid, elegant skincare and haircare line and of course, I succumbed to her Indie Beauty Spotlight Discovery Box. And when I opened the box of these beautifully packaged products, I could not be more delighted with my decision to surrender.
I have talked about Beauty Heroes in a previous post and they are a green beauty subscription box curated by Jeannie Jarnot. Every month, they offer a new beauty product, a star performer from a particular skincare brand (dubbed the Hero product) hand-picked by Jeannie herself as well as an accompanying Sidekick product.
I have always heralded that what fundamentally draws me to a brand is usually its founder and their story as well as the essence behind the brand. For me, it is utterly important that I connect with a brand, on some level or the other before my purchase and to put it simply, I was more than drawn to Ranavat Botanics; I fell in love with them. You can always count on Jeannie and Beauty Heroes to showcase excellent brands but there is something special about Ranavat Botanics. Michelle Ranavat is a highly articulate, highly educated (with her background in Engineering as well as a Masters, a career on Wall Street and her successful integration in her family’s pharmaceutical business) highly driven, quietly confident and stunningly gorgeous lady.
I feel that Michelle’s story is one many will instantly relate to. I listened with great enthusiasm to her story about Ranavat Botanics’ genesis and it really did tug at my heartstrings, evoking powerful emotions. She talked very candidly and with utmost sincerity about the disparity between who she was at school and who she was at home when she was younger. Michelle also recalled her experience of school, where part of her cultural identity (and that was a big part of her, as she was engaged in Bollywood dancing and numerous other cultural activities) remained hidden.
That really struck a cord with me, as she spoke of not being true to yourself and the things connected to your culture. For me, that narrative was apposite to my own experience growing up. I was raised on the beautiful, tropical island of Mauritius and I am myself of Indian descent. Mauritius is a country that prides itself on its multiculturalism and proudly portrays itself as the ‘melting pot’ of the Indian ocean, where its inhabitants of Caucasian, African, Indian and Chinese ancestry live harmoniously. I found the reality to be (at least when I was growing up) a very stark contrast to this idealised image of a ‘rainbow nation’. I often feel that Mauritius’s colonial past has bestowed us with an unfortunate legacy, where if you are not white, you are not good enough and this is despite 80% (or there about) of the population being non-white. I went to a school where barely anyone looked like me and where I was plagued by feelings of inadequacy, not being pretty enough or good enough, not fitting it, feeling like an outsider and stifling my own cultural heritage, very much like Michelle. I never dared to be myself either, to voice my opinions and I became known as ‘the quiet girl’, always engrossed in her own thoughts and who probably didn’t have much to say. Fortunately growing up, I have found my own voice and I am happy being who I am and proud of my Indian heritage and values.
But I digress, let’s get back to Michelle and Ranavat Botanics, shall we?Michelle really longed to bridge that gap between those two worlds and this is essentially how Ranavat Botanics was born. Her motto is quite simply beautiful, ‘take back your crown’. It is the notion of being proud of your heritage and really owning who you are and where you’ve come from. Michelle talks about this in such an elegant and authentic manner and how all her experiences led her to craft this Ayurvedic inspired line, highly evocative of Indian traditions and culture but in an incredibly modern, easy on the eye, luxuriously packaged, highly covetable and guaranteed to appeal to all green beauty lovers. All that being said, this brand isn’t just about pretty packaging and a captivating story, Michelle is also very much ingredient focussed and her commitment to sourcing organic ingredients very much impressed me.
She has brought to life a sumptuous line fit for Royalty as she endeavoured it to be, honouring and showcasing ingredients such as jasmine and amla, two very much loved, popular ingredients in India since ancient times.
The first potion from this Indie Beauty Spotlight Discovery Box is the Mighty Majesty Huile Extrordinaire (50ml), an intoxicating oil with organic sunflower oil, organic jasmine oil and super-critically extracted amla Berry which promises beautifully lustrous, hair fit for a crown. Amla is a tried and tested ingredient. It is rich in antioxidants, especially vitamin C (which helps to prevent hair breakage. Interesting, as I never think of needing Vitamin C for my hair) and has traditionally been used in India for hair health for many years, often cited as the secret to their crowning glory. In India, hair care is just as important as skincare and their hair is their pride and the ultimate beacon of femininity. Weekly oiling rituals, complete with scalp massage have been practiced for hundreds of years and I remember fondly my grandmother oiling my hair with amla as a young girl when she would come to visit from Kenya and she swore that was the secret to her gorgeous mane. My mum and her are blessed with lovely hair and although I have inherited their thick, lustrous hair, years of dyeing my hair and neglecting proper hair care has left me with a dry mess. This year, I resolved to put in as much effort with my hair care as I do with skincare. My relationship with amla has been a difficult one. Although I am cognizant of its benefits, the amla based products used by my grandmother had an incredibly unpleasant scent and I truly am repulsed by them, even to this day. As soon as I heard of the Mighty Majestic and the inclusion of jasmine, I was immediately intrigued, could this be what I was searching for, a beautifully scented amla based hair oil? Michelle tells us it can be used in a myriad of ways, as a deep conditioning treatment, over dry hair as a protective serum and as a body oil as well. Naturally scented, it is a total joy to use. It’s really given me the opportunity to enjoy oiling my hair and for that, I’m grateful.
I am equally enjoying the Jasmine Tonique (50ml), a 100% jasmine Hydrosol made from certified organic and steam-distilled Indian jasmine flowers as a toner, to activate facial masks and as an aura mist. The scent is incredibly intoxicating and I’m addicted to using this wonderful mist.
The Beauty Discovery box from Beauty Heroes also includes a 7ml sample of Radiant Rani Illuminating Botanical Serum, a saffron-infused tincture aimed at brightening and clarifying, which is always welcome in my life. Finally, two samples of Flawless Veil and Eternal Reign facial masks are also included. The box is valued at $147 and at $69 plus shipping, I was eager to make it mine. I believe it is still available to purchase on Beauty Heroes website here. As always, shipping with Beauty Heroes is incredibly fast.
Ranavat Botanics is such an exceptional brand and spells out a beautiful message of self-acceptance and honouring Indian heritage, utilizing gorgeous, time tested ingredients like jasmine and amla. When products have the ability to evoke powerful, nostalgic emotions, to connect you to something higher, to bring back memories and honour tradition, I really do feel there is great power in that and what better way than to experience it in a decadently elegant, updated manner as executed by Ranavat Botanics. I have truly been seduced.