Natural Beauty Q&A: Michelle Witherby of O&N Collective

Michelle Witherby, founder of O&

Michelle Witherby is the founder of O&N Collective, an online natural and organic apothecary. I had a chance to meet her in person last month, and we had a great time chatting about our favorite products. (We’re both admitted product junkies!)

For Michelle, living sustainably and organically encompasses not just the food she eats but also the products she uses on her body and throughout her home. It’s a comprehensive approach, and so smart.

“I strive to be open to all the beauty and changes life has to offer,” she says.

Read on for more about Michelle’s journey to natural products, her beauty philosophy, and what products she always has with her.

When did you start using natural cosmetics, and what drew you to them? I have been using natural products for quite a few years—but in the early years it was only one or two products. My biggest shift occurred about two years ago. At the time a friend of mine, Karen, was hand crafting her own brand of mineral makeup.  We connected over a shared love of beauty and holistic way of living…she brought her passion for all things natural into her line of products. Through her I began to learn about safe/unsafe ingredients in makeup, which in turn led me to researching deeper into the entire skin care and personal care world. This is when I began to become more aware and started transitioning away overall from conventional products.

Your beauty philosophy: No matter how beautiful someone is in the physical sense of the word, true beauty comes from within, first and foremost. When you embody that light of self assurance and acceptance—your life reflects that light and everyone can see it and feel it, because you radiate. Of course with anything worthwhile having you must maintain it and that goes for our skin as well. Taking care and nurturing the skin we’re in only further makes a woman, or man, feel better about themselves.

How does your beauty philosophy translate to the rest of your life? Why sacrifice your health for beauty, because you simply don’t have to? Our body only functions as well as we empower it to. For me living holistically doesn’t simply begin and end with a thoughtful diet or workout program. For me it’s about many facets; eating organically, using personal/skin care products that are as natural as possible, but most importantly safe and non-toxic, the products you use within your home, and finding balance in life; emotional, physical and spiritual. My philosophy is that as you take better care of yourself, in turn you begin to take better care of the world around you, i.e.: family, friends, careers, the environment, your fellow neighbors and nations.

What, if any, synthetic products have you not been able to give up? Nothing! Ugh, I lie. Hate to admit but there are still some synthetic products scrambling around my home. I still use a conventional hairspray when I am going for that “beach hair” look. Since I am pretty athletic, when I am working out or in a hot climate, I switch to a standard anti-perspirant because it’s a must for me.

I’m thinking about: The exciting new things that will be happening for me personally and for O&N in 2012.

What products can’t you live without? Am I truly the person to ask? My list could go on. Anyone that has traveled with me will attest to the fact that I’m literally a walking apothecary myself! OK, so a quick list of products (beauty & non-beauty) that are always with me: Kahina Giving Beauty Toning Mist & Eye Serum, Tata Harper Bedtime Aromatherapy Treatment & Nutrient Complex, Zoe Organics Ginger Lip Balm, a Neom travel candle {to take along wherever my travels may lead me} my iPad, yoga mat, journal.

If you could go back in time and give yourself advice on trying makeup and cosmetics for the first time, what would you say? First would be to read ingredients labels, just as you do with the food you feed your body. Our skin absorbs so much of what we put on to it; we must be aware and conscious of the products/ingredients we use.  My second piece of advice would be to start early with a good skin care regimen. I began taking care of my skin at an early age in large part because of my brother. He began using pure aloe vera on his skin way back in the day because he spent so much time in the sun and he wanted to keep his skin hydrated.  Because he was someone I looked up to, I began buying aloe vera and skin care products to stay “young” looking. Lastly, protect your skin from the sun. We are fortunate in that there are many wonderful organic, safe and chemical-free sunblocks/sunscreens on the market today!

One thing I never want to do again: Skydive! Jumping 10,000 feet out over the Caribbean Ocean was an over-the-top thrilling experience—but this is one less thing to do on my bucket list now. I don’t see myself suiting up again for a second go round.

Which natural beauties inspire you? —Aleigh

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2 Comments on Natural Beauty Q&A: Michelle Witherby of O&N Collective

  1. Stancie said on

    Michelle radiates from the inside, out! Great interview with such a lovely woman. I think she is amazing! Thanks for sharing this Q&A, Aleigh!

    >> Reply

    • indigo+canary said on

      Couldn’t agree more! Thanks, Stancie.


      >> Reply

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