Living Well with Carly Castillo Ferrarese
Carly Castillo is a California based mom and the creator of Under Luna, a holistic beauty line focused on hair care.
Her products are handmade in small batches and derived from herbs, fruits, and vegetables. Carly's mission is to share the foundational healing elements and self-care rituals of our ancestors to instill harmony to everyday life.
Today, Carly shares a bit of her creative process, her favorite ways to unplug, and her simple secret hair tip. Enjoy!
How do you nourish yourself daily (mind/body/spirit)?
Every day starts with a meditation, I get up earlier than the rest of the family so I can have a few moments to myself. this time has become so sacred to me. it's my time to center myself and bring my mind, body, and spirit in line with my intention for that day. late afternoon, I check back in with a daily walk/jog with my dogs and baby, Luna and that is my time to reconnect with my intention and for all of us to enjoy nature and get grounded after a long, full day. Nourishment through home cooked food, seasonal eating is key for my whole family.
What are some of your favorite ways to unplug?
Reading and hiking! 2 things I need more of in my life this year. listening to podcasts as well are my easy escape while in the car, on walks, etc. my favorites are : the mindbodygreen podcast, learn true health, lifestylist podcast and that's so retrograde.
What does your creative process look like?
Honestly, I can't say I have one. it's more about where I am in life and how grounded, inspired I am. with the craze of motherhood, it usually comes in spurts. some days, I’m completely exhausted and have no energy to create. other days I’m buzzing with energy with way too many ideas and not enough time in the day…that’s most days. I'm always staying inspired by people, books I read, hikes I go on and that's when my mind starts to wander and ideas bloom. When I can find stillness, that’s when they start to take shape, after writing everything down and bouncing ideas off my husband, that’s when it really goes into fruition.
Can you remember what sparked your interest, and urged you to explore a new career path?
Well, I guess it was when I first got out my kitchen aid. I triumphantly decided I was going to make my own shampoo without any know how whatsoever yet I had this deep deep desire to figure it out. I voluntarily spent all my free time for a whole year tweaking this same recipe over and over again and for my personality, anything that takes a year for results that may or may not work out? Not for me. I had so much patience and passion around formulating these products, there was obviously a deep seed of passion and thirst to do more - and that’s when I realized I might be onto something.
What Native American practices influenced the creation of your products?
When I first started studying herbalism I found myself drawn to the Native American culture, and their use and integration of herbs for hair care. Yucca root for example is a typical root used to make shampoo. I started pulling in these various ingredients all inspired by Native American culture, one right after the other building a recipe based on the nutrients our hair is craving. I brought in white willow, jojoba, chamomile, for example, each with distinct benefits to help with dandruff, balance oils, moisturize, stimulate hair - all these necessary tools we need for our hair. In the end, my products are a direct reflection of all that is at our fingertips. It's amazing what we can learn from our ancestors, their culture, and powerful relationship to herbs.
What does beauty mean to you?
Feeling empowered, grounded, grateful, and happy. remaining in that state is pure beauty.
Secret hair tip?
It sounds very technical, but if you’re going to spend good money on natural and healing shampoo and conditioner - make sure it’s PH balanced. This was something I came across when I was first creating my products. When you wash your hair, most water is alkaline, that causes the tips of your hair to open up like a straw and suck in anything you’re applying to it. So you wash your hair and all those oils get sucked up into those strands but without anything changing the PH, your hair remains open and susceptible to everything else it comes in contact with ie. environmental toxins. A ph balanced shampoo or conditioner seals up the ends, keeps the nutrients in your hair and protects it from other toxins getting in. It’s the secret to getting those nutrients into your hair and keeping them in your hair so they can thrive.
What connects you most to your femininity?
Having a baby and raising this wild child of mine has completely connected my to my femininity. motherhood is unlike anything. my respect for mothers and the community that surrounds it has been taken to the next level. the strength in our bodies, the fortitude and instinct we carry is unreal and yet we can be vulnerable and emotional simultaneously. it's pretty amazing.
What are the biggest gifts & deepest challenges of being a parent?
The biggest gift is the gift of love. your heart expands and life isn't what it used to be. perspective changes, your desire to do whatever it takes to meet the needs of your little one is so intense. the gift in that is, you receive pure love back from a tiny being that only knows the beauty and goodness in life and a love that bears no judgement. there's so much to learn from that.
The deepest challenge for me is finding a balance. Juggling a growing business, being a mother, a wife and cultivating all of those roles while not forgetting myself in the mix of it (I love alone time!) is a huge challenge. I haven’t figured it out yet, but every day is a new day to hopefully find that sweet spot of being obsessively organized so I can carve out time for everything.
What gifts do you wish to share with your daughter?
Luna is 14 months old, she's really good at stopping and smelling the flowers (literally), she waves to every single person she sees and pets every dog and cat she can get her hands on. if that never changes, those gifts in life will translate into a beautiful world for her.