Beauty Heroes dedicates itself to celebrating the industry’s champions. If passion and a pursuit of excellence are defining traits of a champion, Hillary Peterson of True Nature Botanicals is a hero among them. I met Hillary at her downtown Mill … Continued
Behind the Scenes
The obsession is real. We are hooked on indie beauty and simply can’t get enough. Nothing appeals to a seasoned eye quite like a fresh product that has not saturated the beauty space yet. But something unexpected is unfolding too. Indie companies are revolutionizing the way we shop—and they’re also revolutionizing the way we create beauty products. This seemingly minor segment is gaining momentum and is influencing trends in the broader cosmetics and skincare industry in an unprecedented way.
Annie Tevelin is the first to tell you that when it comes to beauty, more is less. And she would know best. As a former professional makeup artist, beauty expert and the Founder of SkinOwl, Annie cut her teeth in traditional, mainstream beauty where the underlying message almost always pandered to women’s insatiable appetite for more – more makeup, more product, more money spent in the quest for perfection. Of course this viscous cycle only left them wanting more, but not actually achieving more. Annie herself fell prey to this kind of mass marketing. After years struggling with skin issues, spending untold amounts of money on products and seeing little results, Annie took matters into her own hands.
Gregg Renfrew – wife, mom, retail titan and entrepreneur – has a busy life, but a simple mission: get safe products in the hands of everyone. After discovering that most of the personal care products on the market are unregulated and contain dozens of toxic chemicals that have been banned in other countries, she knew something had to change. Enter Beautycounter, her beauty brainchild devoted to progress.
Osmia (pronounced oz~mee~uh), while not a word in the dictionary, is defined by the story behind our featured January brand, Osmia Organics, and its’ founder, Doctor of Emergency Medicine, Sarah Villafranco. Osmia means ‘A sense of who you are, why you’re here, and all the ways you choose to be happy’. What might skincare have to do with this? The answer lies in the ‘beauty’ found in healthy, truly natural skincare and the realization that it influences more than just your skin. It has the potential for more, to have a more holistic and profound effect. Sarah’s vision for Osmia Organics is that the interaction with the range of skin and body care products she crafts and blends helps us return to our senses, so that each bar of soap and drop of oil might offer a prescription for us to return to our nature, purpose and wellbeing. Having had the opportunity to meet Dr. Sarah on several occasions, I have experienced her passion for health, fun, and nature and how she infuses her products and every touch point in her company with these elements. Discovering Osmia Organics has been fulfilling, joyful and completely sense enlivening, as is this interview. En-joy!
Danielle Torres, known on YouTube as Cruelty Free Vegan Beauty arrived on the scene like many, looking for answers, finding them, and then sharing them with others. She makes a contribution to this healthy beauty fan club through her honest and informative vlogs and reviews. I’ve had the privilege of meeting Danielle in person in at the Indie Beauty Expo in New York, a humble, kind and thoughtful advocate for cruelty-free vegan beauty products and their makers. Today we learn a little more about what motivates her to be a true Cruelty Free Vegan Beauty Hero.
Vintner’s Daughter was founded by April Gargiulo, whose family traditions of fine winemaking influenced not only the name of her company, but also her process. In an effort to simplify skincare and raise the bar in efficacy, April approaches skincare through simplicity and (for now) focuses all her attention on one product. Going down this path, April cuts through the excess in an industry that’s all about doing, selling and applying more, and elegantly embraces the ‘less is more’ ethos. Adding to her Beauty Superhero qualifications, she also donates 2% of every sale of Vintner’s Daughter to V Day, an organization dedicated to ending violence against women and girls. I recently met April at her gorgeous home overlooking the San Francisco Bay where shared with me exactly how she arrived at this point, and why it works for her.
I first met Julie many years ago when she began blending her luscious body balms in her studio in San Francisco. At the time, there was simply nothing like In Fiore, and arguably there isn’t still – and you would definitely know that if you’ve ever been lucky enough to indulge in her rare and fragrant creations. Formulating beauty products that work holistically and harness the power of nature, sustainably and elegantly is an art form. In Fiore represents some of the highest work of artistry in this genre. In preparation for the announcement of our October Beauty Heroes selection, I recently met with Julie at her San Francisco studio to talk about how she sources her ultra-rare botanicals, her intuitive gift of formulating and her favorite In Fiore products for fall.
The recent update to our identity, now Beauty Heroes, could not have happened at a more appropriate time as we announce our September selection from Kahina Giving Beauty. Katharine L’Heureux, the founder of Kahina has taken her process of developing an ingredient driven, effective and beautifully packaged skincare line and turned it into a heroic venture that contributes substantially to the lives of women in Morocco. Deeply invested in their wellbeing, she travels to personally oversee how Kahina Giving Beauty can optimally direct resources, and ‘give beauty’ back to these women. I recently spent some time with Katharine in New York and got to see first hand how she balances the success of an iconic beauty brand with a mission to support communities of women making her a defining Beauty Hero. I hope you enjoy this glimpse behind Kahina Giving Beauty and take time to explore more of the line when you consider beauty products that benefit your skin and also transform the lives of others.
It’s always exciting to meet someone in the beauty and skincare space who takes an innovative approach to treating real-life skin concerns. So meeting Sean Patrick Harrington, the visionary behind Previse SkinCare, has been rewarding and enlightening. What I love about Sean’s approach in developing Previse – which by definition means to know or see in advance – is that he set out to do more than treat a current skin condition, but prevent skin damage and ultimately skin cancer. The beauty of Previse lies in its customized formulas that correspond to your specific skin type as rated on the Fitzpatrick UV index scale. If you want to up your skin type IQ you can complete this short questionnaire that evaluates your genetics, behavior, history, and geographic location and get recommendations appropriate for your type. I’ve enjoyed several conversations with Sean and recently learned of his commitment and work as an environmentalist, and philanthropist. Whether he’s hiking Mt. Kilimanjaro to raise money for skin cancer prevention or working with Global Green to protect the environment, Sean stays busy making a difference on our planet. I’m pleased to share a glimpse into his little corner of Cape Cod from our most recent conversation.