Here at Beauty Lies Truth we are HUGE fans of Brooklyn skincare company S.W. Basics and its fabulous founder Adina Grigore. Adina is one of the most badass natural beauty entrepreneurs we know. She's passionate about healthy beauty and uses only the best and most essential ingredients in her products. Adina knows that formulating products without cheap synthetics and exotic fillers means more potent skincare, that is better for YOU and the PLANET. Adina is all about truth beauty and has no tolerance for beauty bullshit. We're thrilled to share her refreshing and inspiring perspective on Beauty Lies Truth in this exclusive interview.
Beauty Lies Truth: So... Adina, what is "beauty bullshit" in your own words?!? Why do you care about this issue and why have you devoted your life to making the best products on the market?
Adina Grigore: So, because B-L-T is already doing a great job unveiling so much of the bullshit for people, I'd like to focus on one thing that is particularly wild to me: brands that market themselves as natural when they are really anything but. I talk about this all the time, but I generally shy away from naming brands in the interest of not being catty and you know, not making enemies. But for you guys...fuck that. I'm going to list some of my pet peeves with brands. Scandalous.
Ok here we go...
1. When the original story behind a brand is no longer legit.
Most annoying example? Josie Maran. Sorry ladies, I know it's a heart-breaker. To this day, Josie talks about starting the brand because she wants to create something "healthy and natural and good" as if that's what the products still are. But that's no longer the case. She sold the company to LVMH (who also owns Sephora) and virtually none of the formulas were kept. In fact, I think only the 100% argan oil is 100% argan oil; and this is probably because they couldn't get away with changing it and keeping the name the same. Here is her new sunscreen ingredient list (someone actually posted this in the thread of comments to the Josie Maran interview I linked to, because we're all starting tosmell the bullshit ):
Water**, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride**, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice*, Polyglyceryl-6 Polyricinoleate**, Cyclopentasiloxane, Polysilicone-11, Argania Spinosa (Argan) Kernel Oil**, Glycerin**, Cera Alba (Beeswax)*, Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Phenoxyethanol, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Methicone, Alumina, Tocopheryl Acetate, Sodium Chloride**, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Polyglyceryl-10 Laurate, Parfum (Fragrance)**, Bisabolol, Dimethicone, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil*, Laureth-12, Ethylhexylglycerin, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract*, Citric Acid**, Potassium Sorbate**, Sodium Benzoate**. *Organic. **Natural.
2. When the base of the formulas is EXACTLY the same as those in non-natural brands.
A great example is Kiehl's. I met someone who used to work for Kiehl's, and was there during their acquisition by L'oreal. You know what she said? That it was a running joke in the office for people to say things like "Can you get me that Kiehl's cream, I mean L'oreal cream?" This is because every single formula was swapped out for a L'oreal base. They are virtually the same now, but they want you to believe it's still the same old Kiehl's. They are lying to you.
3. When "handmade" brands buy stock formulas and add scent and call it handmade.
Here I'd like to call out virtually all of the skincare on Etsy. Let me put it this way: if the ingredient list looks like the one I posted above, that person did not "hand" make the product. They bought a big gallon of pre-made lotion or soap or detergent, poured it out, and added some extras. That shit ain't usually natural either! I find this one super shameful, especially when it's a nasty formula that's called handmade AND natural. Ugh!
Josie Maran should shift her story to let people know she was acquired. So should Kiehl's. The brands are not being honest with you if they aren't telling you the whole story. People on Etsy should tell you which part of their formula is stock and which part was added by hand. Otherwise, it's all marketing. It's not honest information. I will strive to make honest products my whole life. You should strive to use honest products. Ask stores lots of questions. Ask founders lots of questions. Don't ever throw your hands up in defeat. You deserve better!!