Nestled in the Oxfordshire countryside, on the edge of a saw mill sits an enchanting artist's studio which is home to LA-EVA, a Soil Association certified organic skincare range that brings together the highest quality organic ingredients with a passion for art, simplicity and wellbeing.
Part of the new Clean Collective at Brummells of London.
Founder, Louisa Canham has an impeccable talent for bringing out the beauty in everything she sees and her studio is an extension of her creativity. Every shelf, lamp, sink and mirror has been repurposed, recycled or revived to decorate a truly unique space that will soon be open to the public.
Previously a child psychologist, Louisa started making traditional cold pressed soaps at home, first as a gentle pastime and later finding that in playing with natural fragrances, raw materials and textures she could not only restore her own sense of harmony, but was also able to create beautiful and effective bars of soap.
She has since expanded beyond traditional soap making with LA-EVA - creating a collection of certified organic and vegan products, starting slowly with a simple wash and lotion. Drawing on the holistic belief of mind and body as one, each products is described as a “unit of wellbeing” and is gentle enough to be used on face, hands and body.
Describing how psychological work is often about taking a step back and simplifying complex issues before putting them together again, Lousia says that the decision to create simple, multi-function, minimalist products with LA-EVA draws on this approach - that simplicity can be a gift and that our minds, bodies and well being benefit when seen as a connected whole.
Beauty and art are just as integral to the DNA of LA-EVA as well being; seemingly separate worlds that are connected through the belief that what we see, hear, touch and smell can directly affect how we feel.
The choice to use organic ingredients was an obvious one to make, believing that organic should be a broad standard to aim for rather than an area of beauty often restricted to a few, niche brands. Lousia says:
“My instinctive response to the question ‘why organic?’ is simply ‘why not organic?’...I feel that we know too much about the impact that certain ingredients used in the beauty industry have on our skin, our health, and the environment… nowadays it is possible to create beautiful products with a high organic content that are not compromised in terms of their function and the end result that they deliver”
LA-EVA is the embodiment of its name, which comes from a fusion of the Latin ‘laeva’ meaning ‘left of centre’, and Eva meaning ‘life, living one, mother of life’. As Louisa herself says, it epitomises everything from the products to the thought process behind them: "It's about simplicity, complexity, and the choices that we make, which sometimes happen to be left of centre."
Each unit of well-being is packaged in a sturdy amber glass bottle decorated with beautiful prints by local artist, Rose-Marie Caldecott and available in 200ml or 500ml.
As soon as we discovered LA-EVA, we knew we were on to something special and that they would be perfect for our new Clean Collective. Having tried and tested the whole collection ourselves, we love that LA-EVA is a Soil Association certified organic range that not only uses the purest ingredients but delivers on efficacy and quality.
The scents invite welcome compliments from friends, family and passers-by, and it doesn’t hurt that they also look stylish enough to showcase on our bathroom shelf. Every once in awhile someone or something comes along to change perceptions. LA-EVA is one of those: a catalyst showing that organic beauty can be stylish, aspirational and luxurious whilst delivering on results. An absolute game changer in the world of beauty and beyond.