In an increasingly multifarious and synthetic world, it’s beyond refreshing when a beauty company embraces simplicity and sustainability. No convoluted secret serums that get activated with a supersonic password – just beautiful, uncomplicated products.
Enter stage left Olio E Osso, created by famed stylist and makeup artist, Paola LaMorticella (pictured below).
Growing up in the country just outside Portland, Oregon, Paola was raised by artist parents, who taught her the rapture of resourcefulness. While most kids were simply trying not to swallow marbles, Paola was creating sustainable and thoughtful products for herself and her friends – and inadvertently, laying the foundations for Olio E Osso.
Loved by the likes of Sofia Coppola and Gwyneth Paltrow (just to name a few) Olio E Osso’s main philosophy is that beauty should be simple.
(After all, one's IQ does not need testing whilst one is moisturising, darrrrlings)
We chatted with the extraordinary Paola about the motivation behind olio e osso . . .
After my son Romeo was born with super sensitive skin I became increasingly frustrated with the lack of products I could find to sooth him. The prescription medications and ointments I was given from doctors would sometimes heal the rash, yet often cause other side effects. And the natural things I found were too stiff, didn’t last, or weren’t terribly soothing for him.
It seemed to me that the best I could do was to try and find the right combination of simple, nourishing ingredients myself, and try and make something for him. Limiting the ingredients to what was only 100% needed, after a little trial and error, I made the first balm, #1. I was amazed and so happy at how fast it helped his skin!
I made extra and started using it on set with clients and giving it to my friends who were makeup artists for them to try. After a few years of making Olio E Osso for friends, family and clients who dug it, I decided that it was time to branch out and start making Olio E Osso for other people who needed it as well!
how does Olio E Osso help you to live a more simple and sustainable life?
All of the products I create can take the place of at least two products.
The coloured balms can be used on lips and cheeks; clear balms can also be used on elbows, split ends, cuticles; Oil Cleanse can be used as a makeup remover and all over facial cleanser; and the Finishing Oil is a beautiful moisturiser for your skin, nourishing enough to not need an extra serum, and also great for hair!
Less products to use, less time spent for great results.
What are you most proud of with the business?
The community we are creating at Olio E Osso.
What’s been the biggest surprise you’ve encountered with Olio E Osso?
Every day is a learning curve.
What’s your favourite Olio E Osso product?
That’s hard! Let’s say my favourite top three right now . . .
For the clear balms, I love the #0. I love the way it tingles and it is great under my nose when I’m traveling. I am really loving the new Spring Bloom colour we have coming out soon. And I LOVE our Finishing Oil!
And how do you incorporate these products into your life?
I use them all every day. The clear and Spring Bloom colour balms are both always in my bag, for a quick lip and cheek application, and I use the Finishing Oil both morning and night. I also keep a sample size of the Finishing Oil in my purse just in case I need a little added moisture during these colder months.
What’s next for Olio E Osso?
We just brought out our Lustero Bronzing Oil for a limited release! By spring we will have a full-sized Lustero Oil and some great new colours, as well as a convertible powder cleanser and body scrub.
And what’s next for you?
I’m never sure what comes next . . .
My favourite Olio E Osso products
Handmade in small batches, each Olio E Osso product is completely natural and crafted from essential oils and waxes sourced from the Pacific Northwest of the States.
No. 1 Clear balm
This versatile balm instantly preps and primes the old kisser, as well as smoothing and soothing hair, cuticles, and dry skin.
I’ve developed a little routine of using it on my lips, crazy-wizard eyebrows and flyaway hair, every time I’m in front of a mirror. Keeping me smooth like Barry White.
No. 3 Crimson balm
The perfect, classic blush colour. Smooth it over lips and cheeks for that healthy ‘Hey guys I am totally 20!’ look.
No.8 Persimmon balm
Richer in colour than the No. 3, the No.8 boasts a deep toasty orange that gives your cheeks and lips a little more va-va-voom, while still remaining subtle.
This beautiful cleansing oil is responsibly harvested, sustainable and minimally processed, and suitable for all skin types. Containing nothing but the good stuff (i.e. natural oils), it leaves my skin extremely clean, fresh and soft, and looking – dare I say it – remarkably good.
An incredibly moisturizing formulation, the Finishing Oil contains all those lovely anti-aging properties we’re after, while also being responsibly harvested, sustainable and minimally processed. High in antioxidants, phytosterols, vitamins A, C, E and K, and omega 6 and 9, and suitable for all skin types, this calming oil produces radiant, smooth and dewy skin. And no need for any cover-up afterwards, just a swoop of my favourite balm.
THE 12 WITH PAOLA
Whatever city my family is in
Define your personal style in three words:
Very large accessories
David Bowie, Grace Jones, Siouxsi Sioux, Sophia Loren, Jane Birkin
Words to live by:
Never look down on someone unless it’s to give them a hand up
What is your favourite aspect of your work at Olio E Osso:
The people I work with
Three people you want at your dinner party:
Julia Child, Pattie Smith and Frida Kahlo
Campari and Prosecco
Favourite movie or book:
So many favorites. Too many depending on mood of the day! So how about my desert island album instead? It would be ‘Sketch’s of Spain’ by Miles Davis!
Three things always found in your handbag:
Olio E Osso balms, notebook with a pencil, and gum
When you're not working, we'll find you . . .
Cooking for friends and family
And lastly, what is your advice for someone looking to improve their personal style:
Wear what makes you feel happy and strong, regardless of current trends
at the heart of Olio E Osso's brand is the notion that life should be simple, thoughtful and sustainable - and it's that very simplicity that leaves you experiencing pure elegance.