By Marisa Meltzer
November 09, 2015
Credit: Lucas Visser

Marfa, Texas, with a population of 1,981 and one traffic light, has been an unexpected nexus of contemporary art for decades. Now it’s added another rarefied pursuit: artisanal beauty and wellness products. Inspired by the high desert, these lines incorporate local ingredients into soaps, exfoliants, and moisturizers suited to life in West Texas and beyond.

El Cosmico

Liz Lambert’s beloved hotel, where the rooms are trailers, yurts, tepees, and tents, is expanding into beauty. The ECPC Apothecary line, created with herbalist Erin Lee Smith, has (4) plant-based oils and balms to fight off dryness (from $35). Lambert also worked with New York–based D.S. & Durga on a (1) fragrance. With notes of pepper tree, sumac, and mesquite, it’s desert air in a bottle ($150).

Skin & Soul

Suzi Gruschkus, the best massage therapist in town, makes (2) shea-butter lotions inspired by the Chihuahuan desert that target tension and respiratory problems. Book a healing massage to try them at her holistic center, or buy the products directly. From $24.

Marfa Medicinals

Ylana Frydman produces lip balms in scents like grapefruit-geranium and peppermint-orange. Her(3) desert salve, made with local creosote, plus plantain, calendula, and lavender, helps heal cuts, scars, dry lips, and cacti-induced wounds. From $12.


This boutique stocks a number of Marfa-made products. Owner Susannah Lipsey recommends (5) Starling Brand’s emufacial oil for its ability to soothe dry skin ($65). For wilting hair, Jana La Brasca’s line, Dr. J, makes a Landlocked Sea Spray ($25) that provides beachy waves. And ANC Herbal Alchemy’s High Desert tincture ($25) combats mental fogginess brought on by high elevation.

Marfa Brand Soap

What started as a hobby in Ginger Griffice’s kitchen is now a full range of bars, including Ranch Road, inspired by the cult fragrance Terre d’Hermès. She also uses ingredients like Lapsang souchong tea and yucca root. $10.