Hosting Tips

Beauty in Bloom Garden Party

By Camille Styles
garden party table with peonies

Since the season of garden parties, pastel frocks and bunches of tulips is officially upon us, the team and I were excited to partner with Boots Beauty for a celebration of all things SPRING we hosted in my backyard last week. I’ve been especially into natural, plant-based skincare products during my pregnancy, so I was super curious to try the brand’s Botanics line, developed by Boots scientists and plant experts at the Royal Botanic Gardens. For this midday fête, we set the table with each guest’s personalized skincare “prescription” so they could take home a regimen for glowing skin all season long. Click through for the garden party menu, lots more about plant-based skincare, and of course, a major dose of rosé and pink peonies.

*photography by kate zimmerman, floral design by margot blair floral.

Once warm weather arrives to Austin, I jump at any chance I get to invite friends over and enjoy a meal in the great outdoors. A rustic wood table in my yard was the perfect backdrop for a profusion of Coral Charm peonies, which Carly artfully wove into an organic runner down the center of the table.

The different lines in the Botanics brand are tailored to every different skincare need for naturally beautiful results. We thought it would be fun to gift each guest with their personalized skincare treats to take home — the “Shine Away” line is made with willow bark to clarify oily and combination skin.

How gorgeous is this hibiscus blossom?! This lucky guest got to take home the All Bright line of products made with hibiscus, which has natural AHAs that act as a mild exfoliator to leave skin smooth and glowing. It was so fun learning about these skin and body benefits that are contained in different plant extracts — nature is pretty amazing, huh?

For the table, I folded a few yards of floral toile fabric and laid it down as a wide runner under the flowers — it’s a foolproof way to create a gorgeous floral centerpiece, and it’s low enough that it won’t block conversation across the table. Each place setting had an Old Havana dinner plate, Sheer Linen Napkins, and these Riviera Side Chairs that are my new favorite addition to our backyard.

The Botanics brand combines active plant extracts with the latest technology in treatments for the skin. Boots scientists work with plant experts at Royal Botanic Gardens to hand-pick the extracts that will achieve the perfect balance of benefits for each skin type. The Triple Age Renewal line is made with Purple Orchid, which has natural sugars and polyphenols that help smooth and plump lines and wrinkles.

These jaw-dropping Coral Charm peonies were woven with Passion Vine, Juliette garden roses, apricot parrot tulips, and ranunculus for the most to-die-for spring flower combination ever. If only these could be on my table all year long…

flowers by Margot Blair Floral

A crisp garden salad shows off a bounty of produce picked up at the farmers’ market. Baby lettuces, herbs, thinly-sliced radishes, sunflower sprouts, and toasted walnuts were finished off with a squeeze of lemon and drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil. Especially in the spring, the simplest recipes are often the best!

Since each guest got to take home the Botanics skincare regimen perfectly suited for her skin type, Chanel watercolored a personalized “prescription” for them to take home that outlined their products.

It wouldn’t be a springtime garden party without glasses of bubbly rosé! The girls poured Le Grand Courtâge Brut Rosé into these rosy champagne coupes while I sipped my herbal iced tea (only 4 more weeks and I’ll be popping open the rosé, too!)

Chanel hangs out with this amazing Age Defense Microdermabrasion Polish: it contains tiny particles that refine pores and improve skin texture, plus antioxidant-packed Ginkgo. It’s a new weekly ritual that leaves my skin feeling super soft and radiant.

This party was a true celebration of beauty, so we served a cheese plate with fresh ingredients that promote glowing skin from the inside-out. Olives are high in Vitamin A, which encourages a healthy, radiant skin tone, grapes boast antioxidants that protect the skin from harmful effects of free radicals, and pomegranate seeds are tiny powerhouses that  can help reduce collagen breakdown.

Chanel and Olivia dish out the salad — and compare notes on their skincare challenges and a few of their best beauty secrets, too.

Especially as a pregnant gal, it’s really nice to not have to worry about any harmful ingredients. In the Botanics line, the organic materials are produced in a way that minimizes environmental impact and maximizes the essential nature of the source. And they contain no mineral oil, paraffin waxes, or parabens — instead opting for nutrient rich plant oils and waxes.

The Ultra Calm collection is specially formulated for the most sensitive skin. It uses active extracts from the marshmallow plant, which has natural sugars and polyphenols that make skin less reactive.

We had to indulge a little… a garden party wouldn’t be complete without CAKE, after all! I created this little raspberry and pistachio confection with a lemon glaze for the occasion. And in honor of Botanics-inspired beauty, we sprinkled edible flowers like nasturtiums around the dessert and floating in the glasses of rosé.

Click here to get the recipe for my Raspberry & Pistachio Cake with Lemon Glaze!

The hibiscus-infused All Bright collection is just what the doctor ordered for glowing spring complexions. The line’s Radiance Concentrate Serum is scientifically proven to brighten skin in 2 weeks. Sign me up!

I think I spy naturally beautiful skin in our futures!