The island of Corsica is hiding entier regions of wild nature. If you go away from its beautiful resorts you might discover inimaginable treasures. The maquis, word we could scarcely translate by bush, has a wide range of plants filled with benefits, and this by the seaside or the highlands. Passed down since the antiquity from generation to generation, the health properties have served the herdsmen, the transitional healers and of course, women’s beauty treatments. Neglected outside a peasant transmission, it is only with the arrival of the XIXth century that its most precious gift, the Immortelle Flower (immortal), interested the phytotherapy.
In this meadows filled with magic two girls grow up marvelled, learning the benefits of each herb and flower without knowing this will be their life project. Lara became beautician practicing close to her home town, Nina biologist in Paris. The immortal flower has a specific scent, hard to describe. Blooming from mai to august, its silvery flowers may dry out and turn a bright yellow but never loose their beauty. They give the main tone to the maquis perfume, as you can find it everywhere, and will remain in your olfactive memory forever. And so it did with the young biologist Sandrina Aubert. At the turn of her 40th she reconsidered her life and decided, along with her sister, to create a range of beauty treatments issued from the family lands. Embracing the Corsican heritage, respect of the nature and of traditions, they developed a slow cosmetic brand.
We are used with organic products but the terminology would not be enough for Di Nina beauty line. The products are hand processed from wild plants just harvested with a total care for nature. Small quantities, no conservators aded, the products received the very difficult to obtain, “slow cosmetics” label: smart, sustainable, healthy, eco-friendly and ethical.
“Our products are natural, more than that….they are wild and sensorial. You have the maquis in a bottle. This is the reason I created this line, most of all with the Immortel Flower, the real star of the Island of Beauty* recognised for its anti-aging and anti-oxidant virtues. And the Corsican one is the excellence.”
*the way Corsica Island is called
The main product of Di Nina is the Soin Divin - Divine Cure - a vegetable serum that will sink your skin in the Corsican Immortel Flower.
“There was a real demand for natural skincare of fleure d’immortelle in Lara’s cosmetic studio. She wanted a cure fit for the sensitive, reactive skins, those harmed by the chemicals one can find in the industrial beauty products. I started by making the immortelle flower water with a fabulous result in my sister’s treatments. We followed with what became the star of the line: Le Soin Divin. The test was so incredibly positif. We perfected the formula and we validated it, creating the Di Nina brand was just a formality from that point.”
You cannot have a simpler process. In the morning, the flowers are harvested, distilled in the afternoon of the same day to capture the precious essence. First the oil, used for the serum and the creams, and the remaining water, pure, bottled so it can be used as tonic and make up remover.
Each flower has its property. The Wild Carrot, you might of walked by it ignoring its qualities. It can offer a fresh glow to your skin. Best in it's early blooming, the wild carrot flower is revitalising and is perfect for dry skin. “Great after a party night” Nina is telling us with a smile. The Corsican Rosmarin, works best for oily complexions with its astringent quality. The Mirth, the "angel water” is another Corsican treasure; antiseptic, perfect for eye treatments, like the conjunctivitis. And of course the Immortal Flower to calm and smooth the skin. Protects the micro-circulatory system, stimulates and regenerates the skin with its powerful wound healing properties: anti-hematomas, anti-inflammatory, eases the couperose, the rosacea, the redness and it is an excellent anti-wrinkles. Other actif plants, you might know already, are: aloe vera, peppermint, apricot, jojoba and lemon verbena.
With all this beautiful compounds you can chose your cream and flower water considering your skin type or the needs of the moment. Some are even good for very young children.
|Nina at Ranch’O plage, where she spent all her childhood summer afternoons|
“All ingredients are activ and naturals. There is nothing that won’t serve the skin.”
I am leaving the young entrepreneur in her favorite Corsican spot, the beach of her childhood and, as I walk away, I realize I have a different view over the messy dusty bush covering the lands. I can almost decompose each scent and perhaps recognize them in the wilderness. This is an olfactory trip I strongly suggest, and if you cannot make it to Corsica you can certainly do it via the Di Nina beauty products.
|click here to watch the video|
By Alexandra Mas
To find out more about the artist and her inspirations follow her @alexandramas_artist