Modern Alchemist
Q+A with Diane Read of Modern Minerals

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.

Diane and I spent over six months discovering the perfect way to introduce the concept of emotive makeup to Beauty Heroes.  Having already been acquainted with Lotus Wei flower essences and founder Katie Hess from my time in the spa industry, my understanding deepened as Diane shared her desire to deliver makeup that had a positive impact on our beauty, starting from the inside out. See, Diane knows that our outer beauty is a reflection of our inner world, and that our feelings and thoughts can literally shape what we see in the mirror. So, whether positive or negative, our beauty is inextricably linked to our emotions. That’s why she has carefully selected the emotive properties of gemstone and flower essences to uplift and awaken positivity, while minimizing the physical effects of toxic emotions.
Our conversations inspired the lip gloss now known as Padparadscha, one of the colors featured in this month’s emotive makeup collection.  Padparadscha is the name given to the color of a rare, pink and orange sapphire, and is the stone in my engagement ring.  The word padparadscha translates to ‘the color of a lotus flower at sunset’. How fitting for the beautiful infusion of Lotus Wei camellia flower essence into Modern Minerals makeup.  Paired with the Citrine invigorating lip gloss, Rose Quartz coconut rose eyeshadow and the new, exclusive launch of Modern Moonstone flower infused cream highlighter, I am overjoyed to introduce Modern Minerals to our Beauty Heroes community as our inspired June 2016 Hero product collection. My hope is that you feel as flooded with positivity and as inspired by the beauty of nature as I did.

Modern Minerals | Beauty HeroesBH: What are your origins in creating Modern Minerals Makeup?

MM: My background is in design. I graduated from NYU with a concentration in urban design and architecture. Then I went on to focus on interiors at Parsons.

But ever since I was very young I loved cosmetics and the assortment of colors, textures and scents that are found in all these fun little packages. Makeup was always something that I found inspirational – it was a different form of creative expression.

Modern Minerals brings together my beliefs about the relationship between inner and outer beauty. My mom and grandmother raised me with the idea that how we look and feel begins from within. Growing up I’ve been brought up using flower and herbal remedies. Over the years, I forgot about my own self care practices until I became an acupuncture patient of Aimee Raupp, who helped me get back on track though my nutrition and healthy choices for daily living. This shift marked the conception of Modern Minerals. The next step was to find a way to create makeup that embodied all of that with our emotions and connect those dots. One night at a boxing ring in Phoenix Arizona (a social impact incubator event), I was introduced to Katie Hess, flower alchemist & founder of Lotus Wei. Lotus Wei creates flower and gem essences that are positively transformative.Modern Minerals | Beauty Heroes

We immediately connected from the start and have been friends ever since. Katie personifies beauty inside and out, and the more I learned from her it became clear that flowers & gem essences are the perfect connection between inner and outer beauty together through the art of makeup. Infusing essences with our makeup, provides us with emotive benefits as well as pretty pop of color that brings the essence of makeup and beauty full circle.

BH: How often do you make a new product? How long does that process take? Do you begin with an ingredient or an objective? Please tell all!

MM: Not often… Developing the perfect textured lip gloss was a dream project for me that took about a year. For me, the perfect lip gloss meant a lot of shine, with a velvety smooth texture without being sticky, and also makes lips feel moisturized. After researching all the ingredients that I wanted to include, the formula was created with all the desired characteristics. The colors needed to be bright and happy, some richer hues, but all universally flattering and be as beautiful worn alone or layered over your favorite lipstick.

“My objective was create makeup with benefits. One thing I love about skin care products is that their ingredients provide direct benefits. I wanted to have the same beneficial effect from wearing makeup.”

We have two formulas. One blend is invigorating. Its both sweet and spicy, created with capsaicin, spearmint, dragon fruit and with an ayurvedic infusion that helps to give your lips a boost.

The other is lip gloss is infused with special emotive benefits created by Lotus Wei. The scent alone make me feel happy and acts as reminder to live in the present moment. I think of what Lotus Wei does and all the goodness and positive intentions from the flowers in Katie’s elixirs and I do feel charged with all that goodness. I never leave the house without it.Modern Minerals | Beauty Heroes

BH: Your mantra is ‘Beauty is as beauty feels. Can you tell us what this means to you and and why its important?

MM: “Beauty is as beauty feels” is because our emotions become part of our physical selves. Our cells take on that physicality. Think of the muscle. When stressed, it contracts, becomes tight and can pull on the body in unhealthy ways. When a muscle is relaxed it softens and smoothes. Our own physical “beauty” can be affected in the same way, in relation to the emotions that we are feeling whether positive or negative.

BH: Do you have a favorite ingredient? What do you love about it?

MM: Currently, my favorite ingredients are flowers! The benefits of flowers have been documented from ancient times. Like in aromatherapy, the beauty, scent and transformative nature of flowers are directly connected to we feel.

BH: Whats your workspace like and a little bit about your team?

MM: Currently, Modern Minerals’ HQ is in Scottsdale, AZ. With the exception of 2 of us, the rest of our creative team is in Vancouver, B.C. I do love that I get to travel back and forth to Vancouver often.

BH: Whats next for Modern Minerals Makeup – can you share some of what we can expect from you for the rest of this year?

MM: This year has been so exciting so far and we are working on a something new, focusing on achieving an inner and outer “glow”. Stay tuned…

BH: Do you collect anything?

MM: I have collected are antique objects of art and furniture items that I’ve acquired while living in Europe and Asia. I’ve been very inspired by the writings of author Marie Kondo and have let go of a lot of “things” that no longer bring me joy. But I do keep those items that remind me of the people and experiences from that part of my journey that has brought me to this place in my life.

BH: Where might we run into you on a Sunday morning?

MM: In Arizona, hiking in the desert or brunch in at one our favorite outdoor cafes. In Vancouver, walking our dog at Spanish Banks beach and maybe brunch in Gastown.

BH: How do you relax?

MM: Relaxing these days is spending time family & friends. Especially those I don’t get to see often and can just laugh and have fun. In quieter moments, I’m learning to paint on canvas and ride horses.

BH: What is your Vision for Modern Minerals Makeup?

MM: My vision for Modern Minerals is to create a beauty line that is accessible and promotes positivity. I believe that how we feel, conscious beauty, our daily life actions and choices are all connected. In order to make good things happen, we need to set higher expectations in the mass market in order to inspire change, and ultimately bring more light to mindful living. By magnifying our positive emotions collectively, I believe we get back a greater human experience.

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