Why Skincare

 

When I was in my early twenties I had a boyfriend say to me, “you know, you’d be a total catch if you were passionate about making a career for yourself.” At the time I was a server, and didn’t have any plans for forging a true career for myself. Looking back I honestly can’t say that he was wrong for feeling that way, or for being honest with me about how he felt. 


Growing up I struggled to love myself. I struggled to see my own beauty and I truly lacked confidence in most things. I valued, not what I could see in myself, but what others could see in me. See, it wasn’t that I didn’t want a career, or that I didn’t have things that inspired me, it was that I didn’t think I was worthy or capable of those things. I didn’t  believe that I was destined for great things. I saw my life through the lens of what I couldn’t do,  and held onto that notion for years.


Fast forward a few years and I did end up going to school and completed an associate degree in radiography. Did I choose radiography because I was passionate about the healthcare field and how the field of imaging had truly  innovated the way we care for patients? Maybe a little, but deep down I knew that it wasn’t the right fit. It wasn’t until 9 years later, stagnant in a job that was sucking the life out of me, that I finally started to put the work into figuring out who I was, and how to deem myself worthy of more. Now that may sound like a load, but for me, it took a group of friends deciding to carve out fulfilling lives, which allowed me to see that I, too, was capable and worthy of such things.

 

Leslie owner and founder of Bella Botanicals Skincare

 

When I finally decided I was meant for more, and let go of my limiting beliefs, I allowed myself to start playing around with my  passions in life.  I had always had such a passion for the natural and organic world. I loved gardening, eating whole foods, and truly believed that the closer we were to nature the better off the world would be. My second true passion was for skincare.


In my twenties I developed a genetic skin condition called rosacea. I had my first real flare up after getting a facial and using a cayenne face mask. Turns out when you have rosacea cayenne is NEVER your friend. Insert the next phase in life where I started paying real close attention to the ingredients in my skincare products and how those ingredients affected my skin. But all of that knowledge and understanding means nothing if you aren't making steps to cultivate something out of your passions. So I decided my first step would be learning how to make soap. 


I took my first class in Trempealeau at In The Making, with a few friends and family members.  There were two ladies from Purple Thumb Lavender that led the class, and I had an absolute blast.  After that you could say that I was “hooked.” My next step was to acquire all of the things needed to make my own from home. Then I began working through formulas and making batch after batch of soap.  I added essential oils, fresh herbs, clays, and had an absolute blast with it all. I decided it was time to unload some of my products, and officially began selling my handmade soaps. 

 

 

 

If you’ve ever played around with oils, butter, and waxes you may know that body butters are a great segway from handmade soaps. The process is actually a tad easier not having to use lye to change your oil molecules into soap molecules (ok, i’ll stop with the chemistry talk). So naturally that’s where I went next.  Now I'll be completely  honest about my lack of knowledge at this time, and played around with a few things I had no business playing around with. One example was homemade sunscreen. Now, where you just went in your mind was exactly what happened. Whoopsies. It wasn’t until I made the plunge and signed up for Formula Botanica’s Organic Skincare Formulation Class that I truly learned about the function of certain ingredients in skincare, and how those ingredients affected the skin. In other words, this is where I “leveled up.”  


Now the next chapter in this journey gets interesting. This is where CBD works its way into the picture. I had never really thought about adding this botanical extract into my products. But the universe had other plans for me. One of my husband's co-workers, at the time, was working on growing hemp and had reached out to see if I would be interested in trialing a few CBD infused skincare products. I thought, what the heck, and signed up to play around with this new ingredient. To my amazement the addition of CBD truly changed the effectiveness and efficacy of my products. In particular my organic lip balm. I went from having dry and chapped lips on a chronic basis, to literally never having another day of dry lips again. And I can say that this holds true… to this very day.

 

Bella Botanicals Natures Kiss Lip Balm with CBD
So now you know. Not only why I chose skincare, but also how CBD found its way into my products and the skincare line you all now know as Bella Botanicals. I truly  believe that when we begin to lean into what we were meant to do the universe has our back. When we start forging the path to reach our purpose in life, the rest of the pieces begin to fall into place. I have no doubt that’s exactly what happened with Bella. In reality, I believe that skincare and I found each other. And the fact that I now have a thriving business in this field is due to me believing in myself more than anyone else. 

 

Leslie owner of Bella Botanicals Skincare

I'll leave you with this. Have you found your purpose in this crazy world? Have you found a career that literally inspires you and fulfills you each and every day? If not, work on it. Take a soap class, a writing class, anything that aligns with what truly speaks to your soul. Take down the barriers that are holding you back, and truly believe in yourself.  See what the universe does for you, who it puts in front of you, and how that all cultivates a life truly worth living. And remember, the only person holding you back is yourself.

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