you to start the "all natural beauty" website and forum?
There were many
reasons to build this web site. First of all, I wanted
to visit a site like this myself, but it didn't exist! I
could only assume that I was not the only one that had a
desire to find products that were truly natural, that were
made by nice people with good intentions. When I started
looking around on the Internet for "natural" products, I found
a bunch of phony claims and in-your-face advertising. I
got really turned off.
Working with lovely, sweet women over the years as an
aesthetician really gave me insight into how we as women think
(people, I should say). We don't want to be sold to, and
we especially don't want to be lied to. I have a
passion for all things natural, and I have a passion for
beauty products and treatments. When I put that all
together, with the fact that I have a love for people and an
ability to see through nonsense, I realized that I was the one
that had to create the "all natural beauty" web site. I
haven't looked back since. It's like the top of my head
opened up and I was set on a divine path that I am following
I know that if I stay the course, great things will happen for
those associated with the site. There are really
positive vibes attached because of the integrity that the site
was created with. Good people are attracted to good
things, and that's exactly what has happened. For the
first few months of the site, I knew that the vendors on the
site were the cream of the crop. But I had no idea who
was out there visiting. Once we opened up the forum, I
was able to see who the visitors actually were... more
wonderful people! Finally, after buying some good
software that tells how many visitors we're getting, I
realize that we are impacting over 500 people's lives every
day. I find that to be thrilling!
How has your knowledge of natural products changed and/or
grown in your years as an aesthetician?
and sad at the same time, that I didn't put 2 + 2 together for so long about
the importance of using all-natural beauty products. I bought my first book about herbs
when I was 18. I was mesmerized by the properties of
herbs, but I looked at the whole subject as more of a health,
rather than a beauty issue. Eating natural foods, and
using natural forms of healing were always like second nature
to me. But for many years I used what I now
consider poisons on myself as well as my clients. Now I
love to see that light go on for
people when they realize the potential harm that they needlessly
expose themselves to
I remember that I actually gave a couple of classes to some of
my clients after reading Jeanne Rose's book "Kitchen
Cosmetics". I had them all over to my house, where
we all enjoyed the shade of the patio. Everyone happily smeared banana and
avocado on their faces, while learning about herbal properties
and the idea that beauty treatments could be fashioned out of
natural ingredients. It was just fun being together
having a good time.
But for some reason, the whole idea of using only
all-natural products really didn't occur to me
until much later. I knew that the natural substances
were good, I just didn't take into consideration that the
chemicals were so bad. After studying more about
the effects of the chemicals that are routinely included in
beauty products, I now realize... they're really bad!
It's fun, and quite inexpensive to use ingredients found in
your kitchen and at your local health food store. But I
know that for me (and many others) it's not always practical
to whip up fresh products on a daily basis.
That's why we are so lucky that we live in this period of time
when there are companies like the ones found on the anb site.
I haven't tried every product yet of course. But I've
been fortunate to try many of them. And I can say
without hesitation that they are
far superior to any products
that I've used professionally in the 23 years that I've been
giving facial treatments.
As a business owner yourself, do you have any advice for women
wishing to open their own natural skincare salon or studio?
Yes, be bold and go all-natural! If I had the
time, believe me, I would do it myself. There are two
reasons to have a 100% natural salon or spa. The first
reason is that it is safer for everyone that steps through your
door. Morally, you will know that you are doing the
right thing and will be able to sleep better at night. Your employees will be healthier and happier, as
well as your clients.
The second reason is that there are so few of them
out there. You will be supplying a niche market.
Which will help you to have a financially successful
operation. Uniqueness usually pays off, but in this case it's something
that is not done just for the sake of being unique. Your
spa will not just claim to be healthy, it really will be.
That's unique in itself!
Don't just throw the word natural around. If you
are trying to appear natural for the sake of getting clients
in the door, it may initially get clients through your door. But
eventually, with sites like ours out there, your clients will
be asking you the tough questions. Will you be able to
explain why your shampoo has methyl paraben it? Will you
be able to tell them if your hydrosols are organic? Will
you be able to assure them that the scents that they are
smelling are all essential oils or actual herbs and flowers? If you
cannot honestly explain these things, you will be found out eventually.
Your potential clients are becoming well informed about what
constitutes a truly natural product, and so should you.
Study all that you can about what natural is before you claim to
have a "natural" spa. Otherwise you will not be unique
at all. You'll just be like all the rest.
When it comes to a natural facial care line, what do you
consider to be some primary ingredients that should be
included in a formula (without giving away any precious
secrets of course!)?
The beauty of
all-natural products is that they are basically made from
plants. And plants are loaded with nutrients, thus the
term phyto-nutrients. Whereas synthetic variations are
just that... nutritionless fakes. When a product that is
loaded with phyto-nutrients meets a natural organism such as
your body, it works in a magical way to heal, soothe, and help
give the body the nutrients that it needs to help things
function properly. Using all-natural ingredients is
actually feeding your body, in a way besides eating food.
I love hydrosols (the water that comes after distilling
plants). I can't believe that I lived without them for
as long as I did! Their pH is perfect for our skin, so
they can be used any time by themselves or when blended into
products. The more intense, concentrated version of
a hydrosol would be an essential oil, which contains no water at
all, just pure plant source. Hundreds of years ago these would have been
considered as precious as gold. They are now quite
available, and at a fraction of what I believe the cost
should be (even though many manufacturers will still opt for
the less expensive synthetic versions). They are pure essence, and they even get
better over time. How many synthetic perfumes can you
say that about?
Conversely, what ingredients do you suggest that women avoid
when purchasing natural skincare, and why?
I'll assume that you mean all-natural skincare, and not
"natural", which is usually meaningless. The obvious ingredients to avoid are the ones that you are
allergic to or have sensitivities to. Even though a
product may be 100% natural, there may be ingredients within the
product that may irritate your body. If you are allergic
to almonds, you wouldn't want to use an almond meal scrub.
If you are allergic to shellfish, you would not want to use a
product that contains ingredients from the sea like Bladdewrack, Dulse or Irish Moss.
Always do a patch test with any new product before applying a
product on yourself liberally. Test a small amount in a
sensitive area such as the underside of your lower arm.
Give it enough time to see if there is any burning, swelling or
reddening of the skin. If all goes well after 20-30
minutes, you should be all right. Some suggest a 24 hour
I prefer products that feel good when I put them on. I
believe that if I like the smell of a particular product or
essential oil, my body probably craves it and it will work
well for me. It generally works out that way.
Moderation is the key though. Too much essential oil and
I will get a headache. Too much oil in a product, and it
will clog my pores or leave it greasy. Products that are
too drying such as witch hazel or straight Castile Soap dry
out my skin and cause other problems. I've learned by trial and error to
just listen to my body. Natural body... natural
products... it just plain makes sense.
When you look back upon your life, were there any people, or
signs that seemed to lead you to the place that you are now
Absolutely! That is why I know for a fact that I am in
the right place doing the exact right thing, at the perfect
I remember when I was straight out of high school and
wondering what I would do with my future. I made the
decision that my life was going to be like a road, and when
given the choices as to which way to turn, I would choose the
way that seemed natural for me. I believe that we
are all given certain gifts or talents. Generally people
tend to think of these as hobbies or passions. I believe
that they are arrows for you, that show you which way to head
in your life. I never did anything for what fortune or
prestige it would give me. But I've always been very
happy in my work, and l have lived what I consider to be a
pretty luxurious life.
I also believe that I am led by God, and as long as I stay
true to what I know is good and right, I am shown which way to
go on my path. My background is varied because I've been
given a lot of opportunities to find out what my strengths
are. In school I majored in art. This enabled me to have
formal training in such areas as design, photography, even
anatomy. But when I decided to go into architecture of
all things, I was unable to attend the college of my choice
because the enrollment was full. So I decided to wait
out the semester.
This led me to work part time in a very nice department store
selling cosmetics! I enjoyed the beauty business so much
that I got licensed as an aesthetician and started a whole new
career giving facials, body treatments and doing make up.
I really enjoyed having the connection with my clients. I
found that I thoroughly enjoyed helping people reach a deep
level of relaxation, which was an incredible form of healing
work. Working in spas also introduced me to many
innovative ways of healing, as well as some fabulous healers.
Doing makeovers brought me to television work, which inspired
me to work as an actress in commercials for 10 years in
Hollywood. I found that I was able to continue taking
care of my clients, while going on auditions and doing several
commercials over this time period. The entertainment
only helped me with my people skills, it allowed me to see the
inner workings of the advertising industry, which was very
So you see, everything that I've ever done has gone into where
I am today, the director and creator of the "all natural
beauty" site, and now its sister site, the "all natural
site. And I feel so incredibly blessed to be here. :)
And lastly, what advice can you give to women on how to
preserve their God-given beauty, naturally?
My best advice is to be true to yourself. When you know
yourself, and you're honest with yourself, beauty radiates
through you in a way that no cosmetic or cosmetic surgery ever
will. The only way to get to this place is to be kind to
yourself and mostly, love yourself. I remember when I
was in my twenties when someone told me to make friends with
that person in the mirror. It wasn't as easy as I
thought it would be. But when I was finally able to
smile at that person, love her, and do good and kind things
for her, I felt better and life seemed a lot happier.
Happy people seem to glow with beauty. To me, that's