My Take On The Beauty Industry
I started out as a makeup artist in the industry 17 years ago. At the time the only place you could get a plant-based lipstick was at the health food store. In 2009, when I wrote the book “Eco-Beautiful,” it wasn’t about vilifying conventional and mainstream beauty, but rather highlighting the other side of beauty and skincare, the one that was done in a different way. My focus was on creating more awareness around what we were putting on our skin.
Many years later and the pendulum has greatly swung the other way and terms such as Green, Clean, Non-toxic are the norm.
There’s been so much debate on what the “right” and “wrong” term should be. Everyone is pointing fingers and judgements are at an all-time high. Super empowering, right? This way of thinking only creates more confusion and division. The opposite of what I believe small, artisan-made beauty brands originally intended to do – it was about bringing people together, empowering and creating community.
The truth is, there is no absolute and each company will have their own definition of what clean, green, nontoxic etc. means to them. But as long as we’re focused on the “right” or “wrong” term, we are missing the point. We live in the age of information. Nowadays you can google anything and find information to support your “side” of the coin. There truly seems to be “scientific evidence” for both sides if you look long enough.
Personally, I’ve always gravitated towards using plant-based natural and organic ingredients. Long before the words green or clean were trendy. For me, an ingredient derived from earth, tells a story. There is an energy there. I love learning about different plants and botanicals that have been used by various cultures for centuries. I appreciate how these plants can enrich our lives and ways which we can continue to keep these traditions alive. That’s what inspires me.
However, I’m also not against certain synthetics. I believe they can be good too. And the reality is, anything (even the most natural thing such as water) is a chemical, and just because something is “natural” doesn’t mean it’s not toxic in excess amounts. Just like all synthetics are not evil. It doesn’t have to be one or the other. Maybe there is something to a balance of both?
If you find yourself confused about the current beauty climate and the various terms being spread and shared – all I can say is, do your own research. Look to see what resonates with YOU. There is no right or wrong here.
Check in with yourself first. What do you resonate with the most? What’s important to you? What future do you want to bring into fruition? What companies do you want to enable and support? What brands make you feel empowered vs disempowered? That’s what it all comes down to for me.
Let’s stop with the judgements – Let’s rise above that. Let’s start creating more solution-based mindsets to get clear on what it is we DO want. Not what we DON'T want.
I believe the beauty industry is in need of a little revamp. We need to be more uplifting, inspiring, authentic, and compassionate to all people and our planet. Let’s be open to discussion, and let’s continue to build each other up and see how we can improve and evolve with the times. We vote with our dollar every time we make a purchase.
Let’s put it towards what we want to build.