The smell hits you right as you walk inside the doors: lavender, thyme, and pine. No sickly-sweet perfume counter cloud at Blendily, just the delicate waft of a garden in bloom. That’s because this NE Alberta Street skin care “kitchen” makes its all-natural body care products on-site, filling the space with scents from flowers, herbs, and tree boughs—whatever owner Ivy Chuang happens to grow in her yard, forage in the woods, or buy from farmers that week.
“We’re seed to skin, just like restaurants are farm to table,” Chuang says of her skin care line’s philosophy. “We are here making things daily ... fresh. [Every time] you come, you’ll find something different on the counter.” In addition to the product line, Blendily offers in-house “Glow Up” facials: pour boiling water over the shop’s seasonal herbal blends, drape a towel over your head, and spend some quality meditative time just breathing and steaming.
Chuang worked in product design until 2012 but pulled a lifestyle 180 to become a skin care creator after she had her daughter, Azure, that year. She recalls giving the baby a bath and reading the back of the bottle for the hospital-approved baby wash, with its long list of unpronounceable chemicals.
“I had an epiphany that everything I used, I actually had no knowledge of. I couldn’t pronounce it; I couldn’t understand it. I felt kind of disturbed that I had spent my whole life without knowing,” she remembers. “I wanted that knowledge. I wanted to know, and I felt like I could make that.”
Now, with her seed-to-face method, she knows the ingredients well. Visitors to Blendily can watch her craft soaps and balms from scratch—aloe honey cleanser to cucumber facial toner—a process she perfected during her time at American College of Healthcare Sciences’ aromatherapy program and Portland Beauty School’s Esthetics track. And with the ever-changing flora, the excuses to pop in for a few whiffs keep coming season after season.
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