On the iBE showroom floor in LA, Shrankhla Holecek cast a spell on me. I couldn’t tear myself away from the petite and passionate founder of UMA Oils as she spilled mesmerizing details of centuries-old Indian beauty traditions that contained … Continued
Behind the Scenes
Laurel Shaffer, the Pioneer of Slow Beauty, has some sage advice: good things come to those who wait. The skincare pioneer has perfected the art of patience in the development and evolution of her namesake brand, Laurel Whole Plant Organics. At the mercy of nature’s unpredictability,Laurel takes her time sourcing only the highest quality organic ingredients for her formulations. But that’s only the first part of the waiting game. Like a winemaker at crush, after the harvest, Laurel begins the slow and steady process of hand-crafting her formulations, ensuring every last ounce of raw material is purposely used. Even then, the ingredients only yield a finite volume, forcing Laurel to regularly hang her “Sold Out” sign on her bestsellers.These complexities and limitations are part and parcel of artisanal product development, and Laurel would have it no other way. At a time in our industry when the spotlight is shining brightly on indie beauty, with more resources for niche brands to scale quickly and become overnight “successes”, Laurel happily sticks to her indie roots, committed to the quality and craftsmanship her devoted customers have come to expect. Like a brilliant indie star who eclipses bright but fleeting trendsetters, Laurel defines her own metrics of success, and it has earned her some serious staying power. If she’s ever accused of selling out, the fault will be Mother Nature’s.Laurel weighs in on her Slow Beauty process and her commitment to clean.
I never know when it’s going to happen – that moment when a beauty product takes my breath away. I can’t tell just by looking at it, though beautiful packaging doesn’t hurt. I can’t tell by its color, though it’s true that I’m drawn to sparkly, shiny things (who isn’t?). The magic is in the experience – the texture, the glide, the silky-soft feel on my skin, and oh! the scent! Modern Minerals has all of these in spades, which is why I literally had to catch my breath when I first experienced the flower essence-infused color line, formulated by Diane Read.I remember the moment clearly. Last year, Diane attended a cocktail party I was hosting in New York, and she brought the world’s best hostess gift – a little bag full of spherical eyeshadows and glimmering lip glosses. The next morning, I opened into each one like a child unwraps Easter candy, devouring the colors, textures and natural fragrances from the flower essences infused into each formula. I was smitten. And then, the moment happened. I applied the perfect lip gloss. I was done. Game over. I had to work with Modern Minerals, a true up and coming indie beauty brand.
My favorite part of my inspired curation process is working directly with the visionary people behind our healthy beauty brands, and this month is no exception. This May brings our second Hero Product selection with Mahalo Skin Care, an artisan-crafted by hand green beauty brand from the garden island of Kaua’i. Last June, we shared an in-depth Behind The Scenes look at Maryna and her husband Mark who set out to develop a skin care line that works on every level – energetic, physical and spiritual. Because my intention for Beauty Heroes is to connect you with what you are using on your skin and body, I wanted to take you further behind the scenes with Mahalo and this month’s Hero Product selection, The Rare Indigo™ Beauty Balm.
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.