S. W. Basics Kills It With The Basics In Skincare


Would a lip balm claiming “certified awesome smooches” pique your interest? What if this same product was also 100% organic, touting a three to five ingredient label? This, plus the adorably eye-catching packaging of Brooklyn-based cosmetics company S.W. Basics, stopped me in my tracks during my latest Target run.

Adina Grigore, founder of S.W. Basics, started concocting her own potions out of simple, gentle ingredients to suit her sensitive skin. As it turns out, other people appreciated her no-frills approach and thus the brand was born. The offerings are, in a word, basic: none of the products is specific to skin type; you can count the ingredients on one hand and not struggle to mispronounce a single word. Yet there is something appealing in a product that you could easily recreate at home — a sense of security that in all likelihood, this is probably better for you than a scrolling list of unrecognizable chemicals.

I started off easy with the organic lip balm flight, which comes housed in a sweet little tin you can reuse later (perhaps as “a very tiny bed for a very tiny kitten,” as the insert suggests). Each features cocoa butter, coconut oil, and beeswax as the primary three ingredients, with minor variations in essential oils depending on the flavor. These balms literally melt on your lips, leaving them smooth, hydrated, and gently gleaming. And the flavors! Cocoa smells and tastes like a Lindt truffle; Citrus is reminiscent of lemon meringue pie. Because of the simple ingredients, one can also deviate from the intended use and get a little creative in application. For example, Peppermint would make an excellent cooling de-puffing moisture treatment for under the eyes. A quick slick on the cheekbones is effective as highlighter; and while you’re at it, your cuticles could benefit from a little lip balm loving, too.