Social media seems to be increasingly populated by advertisements and influencers, so it becomes even more difficult to connect or to find brands that match what you are looking for. Luckily we still collide with each other in the most surprising ways, responding to the images or the unseen energy that each of our social media accounts transmits. Lilly Be has a long history, but only recently its grown into fruition according to its founder Lissette Benitez Monzon. She was kind to send me two of her products this summer to test, one of them, Be Refreshed, the newest launch, which I started using in the summer and continue with its last drops, as summer gives way to autumn.
Lissette was first introduced to aromatherapy by her mother, who gave her an aromatherapy kit when she was a teen. Concoctions were mixed and formulas created, a passion ignited, but when Lissette enquired about doing an Aromatherapy major at University, she was told that such a course didn’t exist and instead she should direct her gaze towards a more obvious career choice. With two Master Degrees in Education under her belt, Lissette worked for eleven years as an Educator and Curriculum Specialist for the Miami Dade District’s 25% lowest performing schools. She enjoyed her work and the difference she was making, yet couldn’t shake off the need to learn more about plants and oils, so Lissette became a Certified Clinical Master Aromatherapist in order to create beautiful products for the skin, which also helped improve one’s mood. She actually secured her company Lilly Be, as well as the website, but didn’t take things further for another…. ten years, mixing the products to benefit only her family, her friends or herself.
It wasn’t until having her own children and experiencing the miracle of birth, while simultaneously witnessing her father battle cancer and living in a hospital for three months, that Lissette truly understood the preciousness of life and needing to be in the moment, savouring every minute of life. Going back to full day’s work, while raising children wasn’t easy (those who are working mothers know the sentiment), so Lissette and her husband decided that it was best for her to stay at home and focus on raising their children – and according to her it’s one of the best decisions they have ever jointly made. To be at home with the children does at times make you want to tear your hair out, yet those precious first years are truly unlike any other. But needing additional income, Lissette leaned into her passion… and started attending farmers markets on the weekends, not fully realising at the time that it would grow and finally bring Lilly Be to life. There was a need for good quality, organic beauty products and Lissette had the skills and the knowledge to make those products and address skin’s needs of her customers. She pushed fear aside, followed her intuition and learnt about being a businesswoman not in theory, but in practise, every day.
As Lissette refined her skills, she refreshed the packaging that also reflected what Lilly Be was about as a brand, the individual state of being. Each product’s name begins with “BE” as in “to be”, “becoming” and “being” and that is what Lilly Be is truly about, a synergy between body and mind that helps to combine the best of nature’s gifts with skill that positively impacts one’s skin and wellbeing.
Lilly Be Be Refreshed Summer Essence, 58 ml, US$30
This essence can be used to refresh hot, sun-exposed skin or as a ‘layer’ under your favourite cream or serum. I have tested it this summer during my beach vacation and it managed to both cool and refresh the skin with the helps of the botanicals that it contains. My daughter is impartial to face mists and its always a testament to the formulator when she asks to borrow the mist again, instead of just using it once and never mentioning it again. She revelled in this face mist, asking to use it on every occasion I was misting my own face. With Desert Agave ferment and Aloe responsible for soothing and hydrating the skin, Chlorophyll-dense wheatgrass adding extra oxygen to the skin, crisp Cucumber and Mint waters to cool the skin (while delighting the nose with its sharp freshness) and woody Sandalwood undertones blended with uplifting Spearmint and Bergamot notes, its not just your skin that starts to feel blissed out from the most wonderful freshness!
Being from Miami, Lissette understand well what sun and heat can do to the skin (it certainly is more intense in that part of the world, compared to say the UK), so she considers sun care to be part of daily skincare routine, rather than an afterthought. In fact you need to pay even closer attention to your skin if it is sensitive or you live in hot or humid areas. Even with regular use of sun care products, your skin will always be grateful for the extra TLC with the help of ingredients that particularly ‘target’ sweaty, overheated, bothered and flushed skin.
Another aspect to consider are the environmental stressors, particularly prevalent in cities, that can make skin become dryer, flaky, inflamed. While formulating this Essence, Lissette used a unique star ingredient – Organic Agave Ferment – combined with Organic Wheatgrass, which she chose for its moisture binding properties that can improve skin’s hydration levels, while stimulating collagen synthesis.
Before using, you need to shake the glass bottle well, in order to activate all the ingredients and generously spray it all over the face. Inhaling the scent you can’t help but enjoy the soothing small molecules of the essence sinking into the skin, creating a feeling of quiet bliss. As I mist my face with this essence, each time I am reminded of juicy Aloe Vera plants, known for the topical healing that their insides can provide, and the fresh cucumbers straight from the garden, full of sunshine, offering the much craved juiciness on a hot summer day. All this in the Be Refreshed Summer Essence that you can use to your heart’s content all year round.
Full Ingredient List: Aloe Vera Leaf Juice*, Aqua (Distilled Water), Cucumus Sativus (Cucumber) Water*, Propanediol**, Saccharomyces/Agave Americana Leaf Filtrate (Agave)*, Oryza Ativa (Rice) Extract & Water & Pascopyron Smithii (Wheatgrass) Extract*, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Water*, Lactobacillus Ferment, Citrus bergamia (Bergamot) oil*, Mentha spicata (Spearmint) oil*, Santalum spicatum (Sandalwood) oil* *Organic **Non-GMO
Lilly Be Be Youthful Anti-Ageing Facial Cream, 1oz, US$45
Lissette creates products in four categories: facial care; body balms and scrubs; essential oil perfumes and home and wellness. Each group compliments each other and allows you to create the best selection of products to address your individual needs. When she sent me the Be Refreshed, Lissette helpfully mentioned that her best-seller, Lilly Be Be Youthful Facial cream, makes a perfect pairing with the facial mist. Having now used both of them for over a month, I can happily add that indeed they compliment each other beautifully.
- Pomegranate Oil – Deeply nourishing, with powerful anti-oxidant benefits. Naturally occurring punicic acid gently challenges the negative impact of free radicals and targets signs of aeging.
- Rosehip Seed Oil – High in essential fatty acids, Vitamin A and C, which combat scars and wrinkles.
- Jojoba Oil – Rich in tocopherols and fatty acids, jojoba mimics our skin’s natural sebum, sending signals to skin cells to regulate over or under production of oil.
- Patchouli – Firms skin & promotes healthy tissue regeneration. It is also an anti-inflammatory that promotes a peaceful state of mind.
- Palmarosa – Skin conditioner, moisturizer & stress-reliever.
- Geranium– Its strength lies in the ability to regenerate tissue and balance the production of sebum. Induces a positive state of mind and helps to release negative memories.
- Lavender – Soothing for all skin types. Induces a positive state of mind.
This concentrated moisturiser is suitable for all skin types and as soon as you pump some of it out, you will smile with delight at its uplifting, bright-yellow colour. It has a fairly strong scent, but in this instance I mean it as a compliment, as it energises you through your sense of smell, touch and sight. Lissette says that you can use it all over the face both in the morning and evening, but I prefer to use a separate eye product around my eye area, so haven’t tested the application around my eyes.
I found that this moisturiser is both nurturing and plumping and when used in the morning, acts as a good base for make-up. Its glides all over the skin beautifully and its a good idea to spread it beyond your face to neckline as well, particularly is you are over 30 and want the skin on your neck look as good as your face with the passing of time.
To find more about Lissette & Lilly Be, please click here
This September is Childhood cancer Awareness Month & with every purchase of Lissette’s custom-made, limited oil perfume, 50% will benefit the charity Sofia’s Hope.