The Eyes Have It: Berezka Lab Eye Serum review

The eyes are often called the windows of the soul, but they are also one of the first things to give away our age, emotional state, levels of stress, sleep patterns and lifestyle, so no wonder that read more

Beauty brand in the spotlight: Berezka Lab

A few months ago, in March, I have introduced my readers to the first truly luxurious Russian natural brand of skin & bodycare called Berezka Lab. Since then I have been expanding their presence on my bathroom shelves & now want to introduce you to two more of their products, Nail Serum & Body Oil that I have been testing since August.

In July, when I was in Moscow, I had the pleasure of catching up with brand’s founder  Dana & the more we talked, the more I caught myself thinking how much I admire her professionalism & drive. Raising three kids is a full on job in itself, but Dana also started her brand & continues building it in the not so easy current economic & political environment in Russia. Yet, she doesn’t show any signs of stress – she is calm, smiling & very focussed on what she wants to achieve. She continues to develop & add more products to the already impressive range, does events & engages directly with consumers & retailers in a personal way. No task is too difficult, no target unachievable, if Dana puts her mind to it. She just puts her head down & makes things happen, while giving consumers products that engage their senses & nurture their skin.

Berezka Lab Nail Serum

Nails take about four months to grow from base to the top, so looking at them an experienced practitioner would be able to tell quite a lot about your read more

CRiL Reviews: Berezka Lab, a sophisticated natural Russian beauty brand

Let me be honest from the beginning – the word ‘sophisticated’ doesn’t come to the forefront of my mind when I talk about Russian skincare brands  – effective, interesting, niche, unique – do, but until recently I wouldn’t be even stretched to utter the ‘s-word’. I could name a few skincare brands, like Rouge Bunny Rouge or NuBo, whose founders are Russian, but they didn’t create or grow their brands in Russia. Luckily, life doesn’t stand still and I am happy to be able to introduce to you a brand that was only launched at the end of last year in Moscow, yet sophisticated came to mind as soon as I saw and tested the products. Welcome to the spotlight Berezka Lab.

The brand was created by Dana Sagidullina & her creative journey is assisted by her husband, who is her business partner as well. Dana has been blending oils for about five years, since she became fascinated by the process while living with her family (she & her husband Vitalyi have three kids) in Singapore. Having returned to Moscow two years ago, Dana started creating blends for the kids, then progressed to blends for colds, body and aftersun care. She first tested the blends on her skin and then started using them on her family, as well as offering them to friends, learning from the feedback along the way.

One of the big problems that Dana encountered upon her return to Moscow was (and is still ) the lack of, as well as issues with, the sourcing of good quality oils. Most retailers and pharmacies sell predominantly synthetic ones, so Dana turned her gaze towards European producers & suppliers. Some agreed to ship directly to Russia, others did so through the intermediaries. At some stage Dana caught herself thinking about creating her own skincare brand of quality mono oils, but in time came to a decision to focus on the creation of blends based on her own recipes. Dana works intuitively and is basing her decisions on personal preferences, but her business is consciously a family one. Never underestimate a woman’s determination when she makes up her mind – by the end of last summer, as Dana and I exchanged e-mails, the vast bulk of preliminary work on her brand was done. Recipes were formulated, tested and perfected, suppliers chosen and designs finalised. Autumn was spent with the sharp focus on ingredient purchases and packaging, as well as placing the orders at the printers, which Dana admitted wasn’t as straight-forward as she would have desired.

At the same time Dana focussed on the website and instructions for users, which come both in Russian and English. While consumers in the West might take simple and precise product instructions for granted, in Russia this is something that deserves to be spotlighted, as natural and organic field is still sadly in its infant stages. Yes, natural & organic brands are being created and developed in Russia, with various degrees of success, but the potential for its growth is vast. Trust needs to be earned in any relationship and Russian consumer isn’t too trusting by nature, so Dana is determined to develop an open dialogue, as well as educating consumers about benefits of natural skincare. Dana truly believes that natural & organic cosmetics created from plant oils aren’t just useful, but can and do address a multitude of skin problems we all face daily, like ageing, stress, environmental aggressors, loss of moisture, pigmentation etc.

Why the name ‘Berezka Lab’? When I quizzed Dana about it, she said that it came to mind almost immediately when she started contemplating what to call her brand. Birch tree, lovingly called ‘Berezka’ in Russian, is associated with nature and purity, plus the tree is firmly ‘rooted’ in Russia. Dana formulates every product herself ( I will review two of BL initial launches ‘Cleansing Oil’ and ‘Green masque’ below, but this month Dana also launched day and night serums, that I hope to review later this year). For now ingredients are sourced from US and France and are USDA, Cosmos and Ecocert certified. Unfortunately, the only Russian aspects to the brand for now are the business base (Moscow), name and printers, but Dana honestly admits that the latter aren’t perfect, so she is exploring European-based options, as she isn’t the one to cut corners from incision of the brand. She is already in advanced stages of talks with the Russian-based retailers and I sincerely hope that in the not-so-distant future you will be able to buy Berezka Lab in Europe, US, Australia, New Zealand, Asia, Africa and Asia.

Another thing that distinguishes the brand from the others in Russia. is that it is the only one that falls into the ‘lux’ segment of the natural & organic market place. Having tried the products, I can simply say that it deserves to be in that segment fair and square. Dana isn’t in great rush to grow, but rather wants to do things slowly and consistently, but that is not to say that she doesn’t have ambitions. Now that Dana and I have introduced Berezka Lab to you, let me tell you in more detail about my experience with the brand’s first two precious ‘babies’.

Berezka Lab Cleansing Oil

When I first inhaled the scent of this yellow oil with light green undertones and my nose caught a whiff of lime, I was intrigued. When I applied a read more