Going wild with Alpyn Beauty founder Kendra Kolb Butler
If there's one thing that Kendra Kolb Butler, founder of skin-care line Alpyn Beauty knows, it's that there's a certain magic in plant ingredients. The former beauty PR exec discovered this firsthand when she relocated her family from Manhattan to Jackson Hole, Wyoming and found herself surrounded by fields of wild lavender, chamomile, sage, and arnica all basking in the rosy gold mountain alpenglow, "the ethereal pink light which illuminates the forests and valleys where our ingredients grow," she explains.
Entranced by the possibilities and determined to create a clean line using wildcrafted plants native to the area, Kendra created Alpyn Beauty — and our skin hasn't been the same since. We've been obsessed with the line since we first tested it because the formulas truly are an absolute delight to use; from the way they feel, to their fresh scent, to how they make our skin look. The natural pearlescent glow from the PlantGenius Survival Serum and the eye-brightening powers of the PlantGenius Line-Filling Eye Balm are a perfect pair to create that healthy, lit-from-within complexion — no highlighter or undereye concealer necessary.
For this edition of The Regimen, we spoke with Kendra about how she keeps her hair and skin hydrated in that drying high altitude, the difference between organic and wildcrafted (and why you should care), plus how a "plant happy hour" is crucial to making Alpyn's products so effective.
Name: Kendra Kolb Butler
Profession: Founder of Alpyn Beauty
Skin type: Dry
Hair type: Naturally wavy/frizzy
Duration of beauty routine: Depends on the day. It can be as short as three minutes or as long as one hour.
Walk us through your daily beauty routine:
Cleanse, treat, moisturize, sunscreen, brush hair, dry shampoo, then run my Beachwaver through it. If I am feeling motivated, then I will do tinted SPF, mascara, a light pop of color on my cheeks and something ALWAYS has to be on the lips.
What is your philosophy on beauty?
To me, beauty is about exploration. I throw the concept less is more right out the window. More is more. Feel free to experiment and be creative. Explore new brands and new formulas and don't be afraid to experiment with color. You never know if your all-time favorite product is just around the corner, so don't become complacent and stop trying new things.
What is your best beauty advice?
Try everything until you find the products that make you feel truly happy. Then make sure you never run out of them.
What is the best beauty advice you've ever been given?
From my mom: Beauty comes from the inside. Makeup will fade, but the way you make people feel will stay with them forever.
What are your 3 must-have products and why?
Westman Atelier Lip Suede Palette & Lip Brush, Lilah B. Flawless Finish Foundation, Nécessaire The Body Wash.
What's the biggest beauty mistake you've ever made?
Overplucking my eyebrows and using Nair on my moustache.
Any secret beauty tricks?
Sometimes I will put hairspray on a cotton swab and smooth it over my brows if they are acting up. I also use eye cream on my lips (I know Jess does too!) to keep them smooth. If you are curling your hair, spray dry shampoo all over your hair beforehand as a primer — it gives the strands a more gritty texture that will really hold the curl. And, I once read that Jerry Hall moisturizes her skin with olive oil (yes, the kind you use to cook) and I have tried that and must say I am a FAN!
What is a wildcrafted ingredient and how is it different than an organic one?
Wildcrafted is the act of sustainably and respectfully harvesting a plant from its natural environment. It is different than organic farming because the plants must become conditioned to survive on their own — without any help from man. It's like the Darwinism of Plants. The plants we harvest in the mountains of Jackson Hole are some of the hardest-working and most resilient: Botanicals that are conditioned to survive in an unforgiving climate (think high altitude, low humidity, little oxygen, intense sun, harsh wind, and heavy snowfall). When applied to skin, these plants perform just like they do in the wild — preserving, protecting, and strengthening your skin for increased resiliency, which results in skin that looks, feels and behaves more youthfully. When wildcrafting is done properly, the plant is never harmed or killed.
So what's the deal with this "alpenglow"?
The brand is named Alpyn Beauty because it is inspired by the renowned alpenglow — the pink light that comes out at dawn and dusk. We call it the plant "happy hour" and when we are harvesting, we always leave the plants to enjoy the light when it starts to appear — they just soak it in. That is also why all of our formulas are pink.
What do you love most about your job?
Hiking in Jackson Hole during the beautiful summer months to discover and harvest new ingredients. And, when somebody tells me how amazing their skin looks after using the line.