When I was 16, I was driving from pom pon practice to dance class, doing my homework and hanging out with my posse of girlfriends. 16-year-old Ava Anderson juggles her friends, homework and after-school activities like we all did, but that’s not all. She also puts in a day’s work as the founder of her successful business Ava Anderson Non-Toxic, a skincare line she launched last year. Pretty impressive, right? Even more so is the teen’s astounding expertise on the natural and organic beauty industry and her passion to set the record straight.
I first discovered Ava’s face cleanser and moisturizer when a PR agency sent me the products. They were extremely gentle, but what really sold me was how surprisingly good it made me feel to use new products on my skin risk free. I couldn’t believe a teenager was responsible for this brand, so I had to talk to her myself. Where did she start? How did she come up with the idea? I had so many questions and quickly learned that she is well-spoken, mature and someone who definitely does her homework. During our convo, the bubbly high schooler rambled off statistics about toxic chemicals as if she were naming Miley Cyrus’s top hits. She got my attention fast. She told me that when “fragrance” is written on a product label it isn’t necessarily related to scent; this one word can be used to hide 600 chemicals. Scary! She may be young, but her words are wise.TBG How’d you come up with the idea of a non-toxic skincare line?Ava I learned from a report about the health risks of the chemicals I was putting on my face and body every day. I had a pretty large makeup collection, I loved watching makeup you tube videos, and I enjoyed makeup more than the average girl. So, I couldn’t stop thinking about it and was frustrated when I discovered that despite claims of ‘natural’ and ‘organic’ ingredients, most products sold as healthy alternatives still contained hazardous ingredients. I spent all last school year researching natural and organic products, but they all kept registering on the toxicity scale (you can find out where your products measure on the scale at www.cosmeticsdatabase.com).TBG The idea of starting a business is overwhelming. What made you think, “I can do this.”Ava Once my parents saw how much time I was investing in this pursuit for safe products and how much I had learned, they realized it was a viable idea. I first thought this would be just a little online business. But, a friend in the makeup industry referred us to a manufacturer, and after a five-and-a-half hour meeting in which I showed her the top 50 ingredients I did not want in my formulas, we moved forward. Luckily, my family has a history in the direct-selling industry so we were able to use the same strategy as a Mary Kay or Avon and bring on consultants who can come to your door and really explain the skincare line to women.TBG It’s often easier to rule out what you don’t like. What ingredients do you like in a product?Ava I like using ingredients that come from the earth and have been used for centuries. For example, extract from the Neem tree has anti inflammatory benefits, citrus seeds have a great scent and shea butter, which South African women have always used, is in our lipsticks.TBG How do you balance being a teen and having a business?Ava I don’t really talk about it at school so it’s not a big deal. I just make sure to choose extracurriculars like yoga and art that are less timing consuming than a sport. On a day-to-day, my focus is on school, but I do give a lot of input on the products and am involved in the meetings and phone calls.TBG So what can we expect from you and your line in the future?Ava I’ll be testifying in front of congress soon to try and get carcinogens banned from cosmetics. As for the line, we’ll add more makeup and will introduce new categories including men’s, baby, sunscreen, home and bath and body.
Thanks to all who entered the Sue Devitt Eye Pencil Giveaway! Susan, Maggie, Melissa, Marnie and Michelle are each walking away with their own eye pencil.And congrats to my 10 twitter followers who won the Mark lip gloss giveaway. Enjoy!
Need a cleanser, toner, exfoliator and moisturizer? I’m giving 5 of my followers the chance to win all of these products in one bar. The Wonderbar, $40, is made of clay and four different types of algae that clears skin without drying it out. After my husband, who is very particular about what he puts on his face, gave it a try, he called it “nice” and has been hooked since. Being that us ladies are a more verbal species, I’d describe it as a reliable cleanser that left my skin noticeably softer after the first use. Plus, the benefits of getting a bunch of treatments from one bar has made washing up a whole lot quicker and easier. My husband and I have been so happy with our usual cleanse and rinse routine, we haven’t followed the company’s usage directions just yet. They say that to help the ingredients permeate the skin, it’s best to get the bar wet, lather in your hands, apply to your face and then wait 3- to 5-minutes before rinsing. Either way, you’ll end up better than before. To win a Wonderbar, comment below and click the Twitter tab on the top left column of the page to follow me. Send me a tweet and let me know that you’ve entered! Twitter.com/NPTheBeautyGirl
Here’s what some cool blogging birds are chirping about now… Do you want to work better with your colorist to get the look you love?” Check out the Advice Sisters Blog post on a new DVD by David Stanko and learn how to make your hair color and your colorist, work for you
Missy, of LuxuryBeautyProducts is giving away a great gift-just leave a comment and become a follower
Tankinis, Swim Dresses, Cover ups, Separates… Trendy Plus Size Clothes reviews this season’s best Plus Size Swimsuits.
The Beauty Blog takes a look at Spring and Summer neutrals in Spring Fashion Trends.
Suzanne at RN Guide to Skin Care reviews a skin care rock star – DHC Deep Cleansing Oil.
Lisa of Bridalease wants to recommend you do all you can for clean, clear skin. Try it, you might like it.
In Part II of the best affordable makeup series, Beauty and Fashion Tech looks at the Best Drugstore Eye Shadow
Do-gooding isn’t limited to the beauty set. Some fashion folk, like Kate Spade, are getting in on the action. For the designer’s spring 2010 collection, the preppy brand joined forces with Women for Women International, an organization that helps women survivors of war rebuild their lives, to create five new limited-edition totes.Each bag has a piece inspired by a few of Kate Spade’s favorite sentiments — “break the rules,” “jump for joy,” “hello sunshine,” “rise and shine,” and “everything’s coming up roses” — and all of the appliqués were specially handmade in Bosnia and Kosovo by Women for Women International employees. To purchase your new spring tote ($175), go to www.katespade.com and to learn more about this great organization, go to www.womenforwomen.org.
Hold your wallet! I’m giving 10 of my Twitter followers the chance to win mark Gloss Gorgeous Stay On Lip Stain. The tropical shades look like a gloss but behave like a stain, which is perfect to get that sexy, effortless just-bitten lip look. Plus, this mint-infused formula stays put so you can sip a margarita without leaving a mark on your glass. To enter this contest, log in to your Twitter account, follow both @NPTheBeautyGirl and @MarkGirl and RT this message! Good luck!
As a follow up to yesterday’s post, meet the do-gooders in round number two.Give some love to mama Earth (Earth Day is April 22nd for heaven’s sakes)! To get you inspired, Kelly Ripa is hosting a live Webcast on April 13th at 1PM EST. She’ll take your questions and talk to three lifestyle experts (Josie Maran, creator of her own eco-friendly makeup line; Zem Joaquin, founder and CEO of Ecofabulous; and Anna Getty, green living and holistic lifestyle expert) to find out their best green beauty and lifestyle tips.This first ever “Green Idea Swap” supports Earth Day and Global Green and will continue after the Webcast. Starting April 13, each time someone shares an eco tip at www.kelly-confidential.com, Electrolux will donate $1 to Global Green, a non-profit organization dedicated to fostering a global value shift toward a sustainable and secure future. Plus, the sharer is entered to win eco-friendly Kelly Green laundry from Electrolux.Sign up for the Webcast at www.kelly-confidential.com.
Congrats to Ann, Laura and Marjan. They won the HerCut product packages, which they’ll be receiving any day now. Enjoy! Stay tuned for today’s Tuesday Giveaway!
When my husband and I got married this past November (how-to bridal beauty stories are on deck for the approaching wedding season), we chose to write our vows. The person who married us recited them, which entailed three things that described who each of us was to the other. Unbeknownst to us, we overlapped in one of the vows. We each referred to the other as a doer. I love my hubby for possessing this trait — it’s sexy and admirable. Thus, it’s no surpise that when a beauty company takes action for a cause, it catches my eye. Throughout the week I’m going to introduce you to some great brands that are not only doers but also do-gooders. First up…Jergens.
“Even though we all know the facts, it’s hard to resist the lure of a tan,” says Jane Krakowski. “With this video, I’m hoping to pass on that reminder to women and steer them toward a safe option.”
Not only am I obsessed with their gradual self-tanning moisturizer, but I love their commitment to sun protection. Jergens® Skincare Experts have teamed up with The Skin Cancer Foundation and 30 Rock’s Jane Krakowski to remind women to get their glow the healthy way this season.Click on this link http://www.youtube.com/jergens to watch the video. Each time it’s viewed from now until August 31, 2010, Jergens® Skincare Team will make a $1 donation (up to $20,000) to The Skin Cancer Foundation. Pass it on!
Next time you’re in a department store, stop by the shu uemura counter because its days are numbered. L’Oreal, who owns international rights to the high-fashion beauty brand, just announced it’s phasing the makeup line out of the United States (snif, snif). Stock up now on shu uemura makeup artist favorites like the phenomenal eyelash curler, avant-garde lashes and luxurious cleansing oils.Carol Hamilton, president of L’Oreal’s US luxury division states: “Going forward, we decided that L’Oreal USA would be better served by focusing on our other strategic luxury brands like Lancôme, Yves Saint Laurent, Giorgio Armani, Ralph Lauren, Kiehl’s, and fragrances.”It’s a bummer we’ll no longer be able to dilly dally at the makeup counter to try on the new shades and see if we prefer the cream versus powder shadow, but shu fans will still be able to purchase products at www.shuuemura.com. The PR director for the brand assures that, “We will continue to introduce new products on the Web site and these changes will not affect Art of Hair, which will continue to remain in top-tier salons across the country as well as online at www.shuuemuraartofhair-usa.com.”Sianara shu uemura! We’ll miss you at the makeup counter.