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Beauty Interviews Skin Care

Valentine’s Date Night at Home with Herbivore Botanicals

For Alex Kummerow and Julia Wills, the husband and wife duo behind Herbivore Botanicals, simple gestures are the most romantic. Rather than opt in to the Valentine’s Day hubbub come February 14, the couple retreats to the solitude of their house for a delicious home-cooked meal, surrounded by flowers (preferably orchids) and chakra-cleansing rose quartz, the stone of universal love.

Ahead, the couple shares their plans for the ideal Valentine’s Day date night at home, which includes Julia’s recipe for a bath so calming, you’ll want to soak for hours.

Describe your perfect Valentine’s date. 

Julia: Restaurants tend to have a lot of intense vibes on Valentine’s Day—I prefer to steer clear of the whole scene. Instead, I’d rather have Alex cook for me, if I’m lucky! He is truly a talent in the kitchen.

What’s the most romantic destination you’ve traveled to?

Alex: We had the most beautiful time in Italy. It’s a tossup between the Amalfi Coast and Venice, but I would have to say that Venice had a tinge more romance in the air. We traversed through canals on gondolas, drank red wine from extra-large glasses, ate delicious pasta for days and capped off our trip with a water taxi to the airport with the most gorgeous sunrise we have ever seen. 

What’s the most romantic gift you’ve ever received?

Julia: Alex wrote me a book of poems once for Valentine’s Day and that was definitely romantic. 

Herbivore Botanicals Blue Tansy resurfacing clarity mask | Herbivore Botanicals Blue Clay spot treatment mask

Roses or rose quartz?

Alex: Rose quartz to get that heart chakra magic flowing.

Julia: Both. Pretty much two of my favorite things! 

Flowers or chocolates?

Alex: Chocolates, unless the flowers are orchids. 

Julia: I think flowers are more romantic, but that’s probably because I buy myself so much chocolate.   

How do you get ready for date night?

Julia: I like taking a long bath to pamper myself and decompress in general. And when I say ‘long bath,’ I mean the kind where you have to add hot water at least three times to heat it back up! I like to mask while I’m in there too. My current favorites are our Blue Tansy and Blue Clay masks. I like using Blue Tansy first to exfoliate and then Blue Clay to purify my pores afterward. I’ve also been loving Cleanser Concentrate by KYPRIS Beauty, especially as a mask. It’s so soothing and feels like the perfect next step after the others.

Herbivore Botanicals Orchid facial oil | Herbivore Botanicals Coconut bath soak | Herbivore Botanicals Calm bath salts

As for the bath water, I’ll add some natural bubble bath, our Coconut Milk bath soak, a sprinkle of our Calm bath salts and sometimes a bath bomb or two—I love the fizz! If I’m feeling fancy or just need to sit in the dark to really decompress, I’ll light some candles. Boy Smells Lanai candle or any by LITE+CYCLE are my current favorites. [Nordstrom recommends diptyque’s Tuberose candle for a similarly romantic aroma.]  

Date-night scent?

Alex: Dark Wave by OLO. It is dark and mysterious, which I am not, so it balances me out and makes me feel sexy. I like to put a few drops on my wrists and on my neck right below my jawline. 

Julia: I’m kind of a scent junkie, so bear with me. I start by adding some Milk by Reverie in my hair. I really like to layer scents in my hair and this scent is beautiful—somehow calming AND spicy. Then I apply some of our Orchid oil, which has a jasmine sambac scent and adds a lovely shine to the hair. I’ll finish it off by spraying some of the Sagittarius scent by Strange Invisible on top of that (it’s a gorgeous neroli fragrance). I know it sounds like a lot, but because all of the scents are natural, I feel like the combination just smells really, really good and isn’t overpowering.

What’s the best thing about working together? 

Alex: I get to work with my best friend! Creativity is a core element of both of our personalities, and Herbivore gives us an outlet to explore this part of ourselves together. We believe in supporting one another and helping each other become the best versions of ourselves. I feel the strength of one person when I am alone, I feel the strength of five people when Julia is at my side.

SHOP: Herbivore Botanicals

Photography and story by Erica Lopez