February Newsletter

chinese new year lanterns

Hello and welcome to the February newsletter, which is a week later than it should be, but never mind that, here we are and actually it’s all my fault because I wrote on the January newsletter that the newsletter would be released today – my head was residing on another planet clearly!

If you read the January newsletter you will have observed that I really didn’t want to write about products because there was so much more I wanted to write about. But I did and I kept the focus on self-care, because it matters, and the response was quite unbelievable, for which I thank you. I will be continuing the theme, in a rather profound way, on this newsletter with the launch of four (yes four!) new brands. Read More…

The Joy of Soap


If you haven’t notice already, we have a bit of an obsession here at Phylia with beauty and health products. We could go on and on about our favorite sink side goodies, and if you keep watching the “Favorites” section of this very blog, you’ll soon see it fill up with oils, lotions, and potions, that we love.

But in the end, much like food or art or thank you notes, there is nothing quite like making it yourself. Over the last few years, as a hobby and a way to relax, we’ve been hand-making soaps, combining all natural ingredients, setting the results into sweetly shaped molds and giving away the finished beauties as gifts to family and friends. Soap making is a fascinating process, a soothing, rewarding ritual. It is a long-standing tradition as well, a craft that has existed for centuries, passed down from one generation to the next.

In fact, dig into soap making history and you’ll find that that foamy bar on the side of the tub is the result of thousands of years of evolution. As early as 2800 BC, in fact, Babylonians were making a mixture of akali and cassia oil for bathing. The Egyptians followed suit, using cyprus and sesame oils. The Romans added animal fat to create something close to the soaps we know today, solid blocks of waxy substance, dressed up by varying combinations of oils and scents.

The French, however, were the ones to truly refine soap making and transform the process in an art. By the 19th Century French soap makers were churning out pure, luxury soaps, replacing animal fat with rich olive and vegetable oils and rare exotic scents. Read More…

Gill Meets Kinvara Balfour


Kinvara Balfour is a writer, advisor and trendhawk, and is regarded as a leading authority on what’s hot (and what’s not) in the world of fashion, beauty and popular culture.

Having worked on publications including Telegraph Magazine, Vogue andDailyCandy.com, she acts as a consultant and young advocate to companies around the world. Kinvara is currently developing a fashion-based TV series in USA. She is an ambassador for Phylia de M.

How did you discover Phylia de M.?

I met the founder, Kazu Namise, through our mutual – and wonderful – friend, Mia Fenwick, when I first moved to LA five years ago. It was friendship, respect and connection at first sight.

Why did you decide to become a Brand Ambassador for Phylia de M. and what does this role entail?

When Kazu asked me to be an ambassador for the brand, I was thrilled. I am happy to be able to spread the Phylia de M. word wherever I go, and that’s not out of duty, but genuine enthusiasm and passion for the brand because it works. Like everyone, I’ve tried a gamut of products in the past and this is the only one I have found that has made a visible difference to my health (and, consequently, my happiness). Now I want to share it with as many people as I can because I believe it will change their lives just a little bit, too. Read More…