My three favorite holidays are my birthday, Winter Solstice and Halloween. Over the years I have played at my favorite celebrities on Halloween. In fourth grade I was Danny Devito, at some point Madonna and a few years ago, the goddess herself, Cher. Halloween became even more special when, on October 31, I moved to Taos, our strange and beautiful little town. Although I do like dressing up and have a big sweet tooth, I like Halloween because I feel that by participating we acknowledge magic.
Halloween originated with the ancient Celtic festival Samhain (pronounced saah-win or saa-ween), possibly the most important day on the Celtic calendar. Translated as "summer's end,” the sacred time of Samhain is a “celebration of the end of the harvest and the start of the coldest half of the year,” according to Circle Sanctuary, a non-profit in Wisconsin legally recognized by the Shamanic Wiccan Church. For Wiccan practitioners the boundaries between the living and the dead become blurred on this "spiritual new year." As is the case with several Celtic holidays, the church got involved after the Romans took over. In the eighth century, Pope Gregory III designated November 1 as a time to honor saints and martyrs, All Saint’s Day. This distinction turned October 31 into “All Hallow’s Eve,” and later “Halloween.”
I feel a special kinship with fellow adults who love Halloween and Vapour’s co-founder Krysia Boinis is one of them. Krysia’s love of Halloween is an important part of Vapour history. In a confluence of chance and circumstance, young Krysia found a used book on kitchen ingredient monster makeup at a yard sale in her neighborhood. “I grew up right outside of Washington DC,” she says, “with lots of international families. As a kid, one of my self-designed tasks was to help all of these international kids engage with American culture through the wonderful holiday of Halloween.” Armed with her inspirational book, and plenty of entrepreneurial moxie, Krysia created costumes for several neighborhood kids each year. Meetings with her “clients” would start as early as August, allowing plenty of time to experiment and test her makeup ideas.
Krysia’s mom had one rule: “I could use anything in the kitchen except what was under the sink.” Anything that was edible was fair game and monster makeup ingredients included peanut butter, egg shells, paper towel, and rolled oats. In 10-year-old Krysia’s mind a powerful idea was planted: food is what you eat, and what you put on your skin.
Talking with Krysia about the term “Food Grade,” another classification that Vapour has received, Krysia is precise, “When we use the term we mean wholesome, whole food ingredients that would be considered health food. We’re putting things on the body that we would be happy to put in the body.”
Many of the ingredients in Vapour products have a fall harvest feel to them, like Calendula Flower and Pumpkin Seed Oil. Some have mystical origins, like Frankincense and Myrrh. Myrrh’s famous and ancient scent “has one of the highest levels of sesquiterpenes, a class of compounds that has direct effect on the hypothalamus, pituitary and amygdala, the seat of our emotions”. Frankincense is also packed with sesquiterpenes to “stimulate and elevate the mind” and has been “used in religious ceremonies for thousands of years.” Vapour’s online Ingredient Glossary provides great insight into the extraordinary power of the ingredients that blend in Vapour’s cauldron.
At Vapour, every day of the year is an opportunity to ward off wrinkles, nourish our beauty, and heal our skin. I ask Krysia how she feels about Halloween even now that she’s a grown up and doesn’t have kids, “I do still love Halloween,” she says. Me too.