Shadora Martin is a natural skincare formulator and self-proclaimed ingredient-enthusiast. She founded Best Life Organics in 2018 when her journey into motherhood compelled her to make self-care a priority. Partnering with small, family-owned growers and producers in the United States and abroad, Shadora handcrafts every product in small batches using organic and wild-harvested ingredients. She takes pride in helping others embrace their natural beauty through products that bring out the best in our skin.
We recently sat down with Shadora to talk about home facials, growing up in Maryland, and how a Cardi B song inspired her business.
Tell us about yourself.
I grew up right outside of Washington DC in a town called Capitol Heights, Maryland. I hate to say it, but it has to be literally one of the most boring places on earth. I often had to use my imagination to escape the day-to-day. It helped me foster creativity from a very early age. I started working when I was 15, had a few short stints in college, and spent the majority of my 20s working in the DC restaurant scene. Working in the culinary world taught me to appreciate ingredients in a way that I never knew was possible. I learned the importance of carefully sourcing, how to incorporate aromatics, how to create balance, texture, and depth. I didn’t know it at the time, but this is what gave me the confidence to start formulating skincare.
Why did you start Best Life Organics?
Anything that makes you feel sexy—that’s powerful. That’s what I knew I had with the body butter, and I just wanted to share that feeling with other people. I decided that I wanted to create products that make people feel confident in their skin by using ingredients that bring out the best in our natural beauty.
All of our plant-based ingredients are certified organic, and they make up anywhere from 95 to 100% of our formulations. We’re also using certified natural preservatives.
What inspired the name?
There’s a Cardi B song called “Best Life”. The song came on as I was narrowing down names for the business. I heard it and was like “ok yeah, that’s it.” The song really encapsulates the vibe I wanted to create with the brand.
What’s a product you recommend to someone starting their clean skin care journey?
Our Clarifying Detox Mask is a great place to start. It does a really great job of penetrating the skin to remove impurities, which is important when you’re switching to new products. It’s like giving your skin a fresh, clean slate.
Any ingredients to avoid?
Although I love fragrance, it’s a big no-no for me in skincare. As someone with sensitive and acne-prone skin, I stay away from ingredients that can trigger irritation and breakouts on the face.
Any skincare tips or tricks?
Invest in a face steamer and give yourself a facial! I do it once a week to pamper myself. You can find a good one for around $30, and when you use it with our products it really feels like you just came from the spa.
What is one of the biggest lessons you’ve learned from starting Best Life Organics?
I’ve really learned to just hone in on what I’m doing and stop comparing our trajectory with other brands. We’re moving towards our goals at a pace that works for us, and the big opportunities always find a way to present themselves at the right time.
How do you differentiate yourself?
We’re bringing you the full self-care experience, from head to toe. You can use our products to create your own spa day at home, and that is absolutely by design. You can give yourself a facial with our skincare collection, have a luxurious shower with our bath products, and have your partner give you a body massage with our after-bath items. We want our customers to get the most out of everything.
What does being transparent with your customers mean to you?
Transparency means everything to me. It establishes trust with my customers, and trust is valuable. I recently had a customer that wasn’t aware of our use of fragrance oils. Although we use blends of essential oils and clean fragrances, and that is stated on our website, I definitely had a moment where I was like, “How can we make this clearer?” While it’s impossible to meet everyone’s expectations, you can absolutely do your part as a brand to help customers make informed decisions.
The last book you read?
Listening to Scent by a woman named Jennifer Peace Rhind. I’m heavily into botanical perfumery at the moment, and she speaks about scent is this really romantic way that makes you draw all these new connections between smell and everything around you.
Who is someone you look up to?
Right now I’m a little obsessed with the founder of The Honey Pot Company, Bea Dixon. She’s a force. Her brand has achieved major success, and she goes around telling her story on podcasts and Zoom sessions, cursing up a storm, dropping major gems for anyone who wants to start their own business. She literally gives you the blueprint and lays it out so plain. I have a lot of respect for her because she broke through that door and is now leaving it open for others to pass through. She’s become a resource for her community, and that is something I think every founder should aspire to be.