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.
Behind the Scenes
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.
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.
From the moment I opened my first package from Mahalo skincare I knew I was in for a treat. The package included a personal hand written note on a bamboo card along with etched bamboo bottles and jars carved with the familiar shapes of the Hawaiian Islands. The packaging caught my attention and I knew I had stumbled upon something special. Then I opened the jars and began to experiment and experience what was inside – concentrated, potent and complex formulations that work.Being from Hawaii myself Mahalo had immediate relevance as the products perfectly reflect the beauty of nature that is abundant on the islands. If you’ve ever visited you know that the essence of Hawaii stays with you after you leave. With it’s tropical ingredients and exotic scents Mahalo connects me back to the magic of the Islands. But as I got to know the products, ingredients and Maryna much better I’ve learned this is not just a line with a tropical theme, Mahalo has the intention, purity and the power to heal (skin and body). Together with the community of Spa Superheroes we selected our July Hero Product, Pele Mask because of it’s therapeutic effect on the skin. But smoothing a few drops of Vacation Glow (Mahalo’s newest product) on my arms and chest has the ability to instantly improve my mood. I could go on about each product in the small (but growing) collection. This interview, a result of several in-depth conversations with Maryna Kracht, the founder and force behind the brand, reveals the origins of Mahalo and why we should all be on the lookout for what’s coming next from this conscious luxury beauty brand.
Innersense Organic Beauty believes that hairstyling is a healing modality. I recently made a trip to their Bay Area headquarters/salon to chat with Greg and Joanne Starkman, the enlightened power couple behind the brand. Sitting in the salon’s meditation room (yes, that’s right – meditation room!), I was captivated by their views on hair (it can hold energy, emotion and history) and hair cutting and styling (a holistic healing art). I left the conversation not only energized by their heartfelt views but also with a much better understanding of how to achieve healthy, gorgeous hair and tap into my own “inner sense.”
When I first connected with Tricia Trimble, the founder of Suntegrity, I was taken aback by the pure intention I felt coming through her voice. I also found a special connection through her story – how losing her mother to skin cancer led her to start Suntegrity and make a safe sun care collection of the highest quality in her honor. Having lost my mom around the same time Tricia lost hers, I sensed that we were meant to be introduced!Then, once I tested Tricia’s 3-in-1 moisturizer, sunscreen and primer, I was amazed. It felt like so much more than sun protection. Since working with Suntegrity I have discovered that this small but mighty brand has an incredibly loyal following of devotees. I am now thrilled to be counted among them and to have the opportunity to share this heroic product – and its maker – with you.
“Plants are the strongest, anti-aging tool we have,” says Laurel Shaffer, founder of her namesake flower-and-herb-based, organic facial care line. Based in Northern California, Laurel takes extreme care in channeling that ethos into every gorgeous product – including this month’s featured Antioxidant Facial Serum.
Yael Alkalay, the creative force behind Red Flower, built her exquisite brand on the tradition of rituals she unearthed while traveling the world, “places where purification is experienced with an almost-religious perfection, where every element combines to cleanse the body and mind,” says Yael. We caught up with her over a cup of oolong tea in New York.