triumph & disaster

New Zealand brand Triumph & Disaster is a men's skincare line that churns out products just as powerful as its name (inspired by a Rudyard Kipling poem none the less). Derived with nature but engineered with science, the brand fits the category of a modern day apothecary. They even have the cool packaging to prove it. Triumph & Disaster has a knack for finding ingredients that work, too. Blending local indigenous ingredients with scientifically proven and natural ingredients from everywhere from Polynesia to Australia, they've created a line of men's essentials. Their products range from peppermint scented Ritual Face Cleanser to close shave ensuring Old-Fashioned Shave Cream.

One of our favorite things about Triumph & Disaster is what is behind the brand (besides the handsome faces it's creating worldwide). Dion Nash founded the company on the simple belief that "ritual and preparation are worthy endeavors and that being well groomed is something of which to be proud." It's about time that men get some skincare loving, too.

Come in and snag your favorite essential or set up a facial to try it out. Here's to Triumph & Disaster, what Kipling called "two impostors just the same."

juniper ridge, scents for the adventurer in all of us

At Aviary, we have a deep love for the natural world. That's one of reasons that we're so excited about our new product line Juniper Ridge. The world's only wild fragrance company, Juniper Ridge creates pure fragrances from real plants, bark, moss, mushrooms and tree trimmings - all found while fearlessly hiking the back country. With scents named after the adventures themselves - Big Sur, Caruthers Canyon and Cascade Glacier to name a few - Juniper Ridge is both a unique concept and company. But what really sets them apart from the rest of the fragrance industry is their process. Juniper Ridge distills their colognes and perfumes, meaning that they handle every step of the process, from beginning to end. It always begins with hiking, capturing the smell of a particular wind or road or whisky-fueled campfire, and ends with a scent or harvest. Every product that comes out of Juniper Ridge's small workshop in Oakland, CA is so cared for that it's assigned a harvest number documenting everything from the plants that make up the fragrance to who collected them (go here to learn more about your bottle).

Declaring themselves hikers above all else, the folks at Juniper Ridge donate 10% of profits to various wilderness groups, in a mission to "keep the west coast wild" (and smelling sweet). Whether in the form of their signature cabin spray, cologne, perfume or incense, Juniper Ridge allows you to bring a little of the wilderness home.

francesca hernandez, aviary's newest esthetician

We are so excited to introduce you to Francesca, our newest esthetician. A true adventurer with a passion for holistic health, healing arts and beauty, Francesca has worked at reputable spas around Atlanta as well as a resort spa in Bermuda.  She's now entering her tenth year in the industry and we're thrilled she's decided to share her sense of exploration, inspiration and knowledge with us. Here's a little about her – in and out of the treatment room: What initially interested you in your craft? With your first degree in studio art, do you feel the two go hand in hand? I first became intrigued in aesthetics and massage in junior high after I saw an article in Seventeen Magazine about spa treatments. There was something so pleasing about self care and the tranquil images that it left an impression on me. I also started getting into my own aesthetic rituals around that time, which in turn helped with my confidence as a teenager. I would buy exfoliant and masks from The Body Shop with my allowance money and do facials on myself at home. The visual arts has always been a life long interest. It definitely goes together as both allow me to use my hands and be in the moment.

You were born in Louisiana, but spent your childhood between Puerto Rico and Florida. What brought you to Atlanta? I initially came to Atlanta in high school after my mom got a job at a college here. Since then I've lived in other places, but I always ended up coming back to Atlanta. It just offers a lot here in the way of activities and interests, plus you've got a lot of good nature spots to balance it out.

As an adventurer, what's one of your favorite places in the world? Paris. I've never seen another city so well designed. It was like someone laid out the city so that every angle looks like a scene from a painting. It's definitely worth a return visit.

How about in Atlanta? As a foodie I am eternally grateful for the Dekalb Farmer's Market. Their selection keeps getting better and its worth braving the crowds. The Atlanta Botanical Garden is another favorite. I just got back from seeing the scarecrows and the Imaginary Worlds exhibit. It is always a pleasure to hang out there.

And lastly, if you were a bird, what bird would you be? An owl, but maybe a baby owl. I tend to be a solitary thinker but I'm wise enough to know I don't know it all.

sircuit, making our summer skin better

Our friends at Sircuit have put together a list of seven sun essentials that we couldn't help but agree on. Here's why:

1. swell, an oceanic cooling mask Most acclaimed as a cooling after-sun mask, Swell calms and hydrates the skin. It works in the shade too, though, to firm and refresh with its anti-aging properties.

2. molecular mist, hydrating moisture care It works in that dehydrating airplane air and sunshine alike and it's important when it comes to refreshing and hydrating our beat summer skin. We also love that Sircuit's take on the mist includes protection against UV rays and other environmental factors.

3. sol-avert SPF 30, ultimate UV defense It's Sircuit's classic yet fierce sun block - paraben-free and eco-friendly of course.

4. sircuit soleil, firming mineral self-bronzer We like to think of this one as safe sun at its best. Sircuit's streak-free bronzing self-tanner an almost instant seven day glow. Not to mention it can even be blended in with your favorite moisturizer to build a healthy tan any time of the year.

5. lavish, multi-use therapeutic dry oil It's an old-time favorite that turns out to be perfect for summer. Lavish absorbs quickly into skin and leaves behind a soft and subtle sheen.

6. sircuit weapon, 10% vitamin C therapy serum We don't only like this one for the name. It's also anti-aging, reduces the appearance of fine lines and improves your skins resilience and tone.

7. white out, daily under eye cream It may be cliche, but it is important to be easy on the eyes in this case. Sircuit has created a multi-tasking under eye cream that protects that delicate eye area from environmental damage. And as part of Made Better, White Out also bosts its Biolumen Firm technology, which captures UV light as energy and, like LED red-light therapy, utilizes beneficial aspects for the skin.

Welcome to the Jungle

I am excited to be writing from sunny (and warm) California. I arrived today at noon, took the shuttle to the rental car facility and got my compact car and GPS. It is so nice to have such a calm female voice guiding me along the overpopulated coastal highways and inner city streets. Makes me wonder if this helps cut down on road rage in unfamiliar territories. It must. I had a few hours to burn so I decided to go to Venice in search of Vert, an organic skin and makeup boutique that I have admired through the internet and on the pages of magazines for so long. Sadly, it appears that Vert is moving to a new location though, in all honesty, it seemed to me as if they were liquidating. Boo. But I had a great meander through Venice...what a great bohemian surfer vibe they have there.

Anyhoo, I left Venice around 3:30, got myself good and lost looking for the unfamiliar, generic rental car that I had parked on Navarre Court and made my way to the hotel. Being in LA, I feel the need to name drop that even my hotel has been in a movie.

Speaking of name drop, I'll get to the reason that I am in the City of Angels, or more accurately the city of Burbank, which is to participate in a workshop with Julie Hewett. I, along with the other women here for the training, were treated to drinks and dinner with Julie, where she shared her stories working on set with Miley Cyrus (who I just realized was born the year I was a JUNIOR IN HIGH SCHOOL), Diane Lane and Susan Sarandon (who I just realized filmed Thelma and Louise a year before Miley was born). Schooled! She also shared that her next job will be working for three months with George Clooney. Swoon. Julie assures us that her job is not glamorous and while I am sure she is right, I am also sure that I wouldn't mind a day at her job just to confirm how NOT glamorous a day on the set with Mr. Clooney could be.

I had a post Julie dinner with some very good friends who now live in Los Angeles. They pointed out my first celebrity sighting of the weekend: Ron Jeremy at the back of the restaurant with some totally rando group of people (er professionals?) Our table was really into the fact that he drove away in a circa 90s Saturn.

Tomorrow we get down to some serious makeup business and I can't wait.