Congratulations to Amy Shavelson on winning the giveaway! Both Maryna and I have been so incredibly moved by your words and stories. Thank you so very much!

I think it was inevitable that I was going to love Maryna, the creator behind Mahalo Care. Not only does she make some of my favorite products, but she is a spunky Russian, with a brunette pixie cut: we are practically twins! Of course, her excellent taste in haircuts is not the real reason why I adore Maryna, but rather it is her passion and the sense of radiant joy that infuses her every action. In my review of Mahalo Care, I talked about the intention that can be seen behind Mahalo products and I can tell you with no exhagerration that Maryna’s joy and passion practically radiate from every bottle and jar. I wanted to interview Maryna ever since we met at ANFGB and we recently sat down for a Skype chat over cups of Sun Potion tea (for me) and coffee (for Maryna). We were thousands of miles and 6 hours apart, but it felt as though I was chatting to a dear friend across a kitchen table.

Because our chat was so delightfully rambling, I figured I would avoid the typical question-and-answer format and try to convey the spirit of our long distance coffee klatch (though I will avoid periodically switching to Russian mid-sentence).

I must admit, I was feeling a bit inadequate, sitting as I was in my bedroom, desperately trying to angle the floor lamp to provide enough light for me to be visible, while avoiding looking like a character in an interrogation scene in a noire movie. Maryna, her radiant skin the best possible advertisement for her products, had it easier, with bright Hawaiian sunshine streaming through her window. Fascinating as our chat was, I couldn’t help by be distracted by the occasional crowing of roosters outside Maryna’s window. Did you know that Hawaii is overrun by wild chickens?! Apparently a whole bunch of them escaped during a major hurricane and presto! Wild chickens providing your daily soundtrack.

Maryna

We had previously talked about how a Russian/Ukrainian girl ends up in Hawaii (corporate burnout, runs off to Hawaii to recharge and recover, meets a boy, falls in love, stays and starts a brilliant beauty business – someone call Cameron Crowe), but I did wonder how Mahalo got its start. It turns out that Maryna and I have more in common than hair: inspirational grandmothers. Hers taught her about the power of plants and Maryna has been mixing up skin salves since she was a girl. Mahalo is an amalgam of those childhood lessons, her travels to India as a soul-searching teenager and the drive, research and commitment of a type-A corporate chick that Maryna was before her Hawaiian escape.

One of the very cool things about Mahalo is that the brand actually test runs its products in spa back bars. If anyone can give you constructive criticism is an aesthetician! What this means for us is that Mahalo has a whole lineup of seriously exciting products coming down the pipeline. Intrigued? You should be! I have been sworn to secrecy, but I can tell you that you can expect exquisite sensory delights with serious practical benefits.

I was also thrilled to learn that my grousing about the packaging of Vacation Glow was not in vain: Mahalo is in the process of repackaging all of the products. The big change is that the plastic tubs inside the bamboo will be replaced with glass (the Rare Indigo Balm is already packaged in the new jars) and Vacation Glow will be housed in the same (well, bigger) beautiful, rose gold pump bottle as the Vitality Elixir. This is the very thing that makes me so excited about Mahalo: the constant drive to innovate, change, grow and improve. I cannot wait for what is to come.

And now for the best part! Mahalo means “gratitude” in Hawaian. Both Maryna and I are big on gratitude and, after all, gratitude is what this season is all about. So to show our gratitude for all of you, we decided to have a pretty special giveaway: you can win a full size of the precious Rare Indigo Balm! I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am about this: Mahalo almost never goes on sale and giveaways are equally rare, plus Rare Indigo is the new superstar of the line. But here is the thing: you guys are the reason we do this. Your passion for green beauty, your commitment to supporting independent brands and your general awesomeness is what makes the green beauty scene such a special and beautiful thing, and so we want to thank you for being you.

There are several ways to enter our giveaway:  click on the link to comment on this post and tell us what you are thankful for, or you can follow me and Mahalo on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram (check out my Instagram for entry instructions). The giveaway will run through Monday and the winner will be announced on Tuesday. Good luck and thank you! You make this all worthwhile.

Happy Thanksgiving,

Love, HH. xx

Leave a Reply