Lessons in Slow Beauty… happy birthday Shel Pink!

Today was a great day. There are many reasons for this, despite the fact that it was a Monday… one of those reasons is that it is the birthday of someone whom I very much respect and admire. Today is Shel Pink’s birthday. If you don’t know her, or don’t know of her, yet, I would encourage you to learn more. She is a fellow beauty entrepreneur, works in a family business, and will change the way you look at nails, and nail polish – perhaps at beauty overall. She is the founder of SpaRitual, vegan nail lacquer and of the Slow Beauty movement.

I had the luck of meeting Shel at an industry dinner not even a year ago. I had one of those “Brad Pitt” moments, which in my life means I get giddy and speechless because I just met someone so gorgeous inside and out, someone who has made such a difference, that I forget I can speak. Luckily for me, Shel thought that despite my excitement I remained quite coherent, and agreed to do a Beautyview. That was the start to a friendship that is still blossoming, the start of a relationship that I hope will shape our lives and respective brands for years to come.

Here are a few more specific reasons I am grateful to have met Shel…

  1. She reminds us that we need to slow down. She pioneered the Slow Beauty movement, reminding us that we can get off the fast track and take the time to enjoy the simpler pleasures in life.
  2. She believes everyone’s first and foremost relationship is the one we have with ourselves. One of my mother’s founding concepts behind Alchimie Forever is that we all need to take care of ourselves, much better that we do – hence our tag line “self care through skin care.” And sometimes, it is good to (re-)hear truths from people other than parents. Shel reminds me that indeed, if I don’t take care of myself, I won’t be able to take care of anyone else.
  3. She dislikes routine, and loves rituals. What makes these two words, which both start with the letter “r,” so different from each other? I abhor routine, perhaps above all else. Yet I love rituals, which are simple, uncomplicated, peaceful, and peace-inducing. Thank you Shel for highlighting this distinction.
  4. Without knowing it, she influences my reading list. The most recent book I added to my list is Small Graces by Kent Nerburn. It should arrive in my mailbox next week, I cannot wait!
  5. Also without knowing it, she helps me reflect, and enhances my thinking. Most recently, my thinking about why I love book club so much.
  6. Perhaps most importantly, Shel helps me live by one of my core values, which is beauty and aesthetics. I value beauty in every aspect of my life – my surroundings (art on the walls is a must), my behavior (arguments are ugly, love is beautiful), and my appearance (looking good makes me feel better and act nicer).

Happy birthday Shel. Thank you for making the world a more groomed, more beautiful place, one nail, one soul, at a time.

Beach Beauty

The week of July 4th is one of my very favorite weeks of the year – not so much because of Independence Day, but because I spend this week on the Greek island of Tinos. The days are filled with swimming in the very salty sea, sand, rest, rosé wine, and Greek salads. Given that I spend eight hours on average at the beach each day, my beach bag beauty essentials are, well, essential. Here are my must-haves.

Even though I will exclusively be in the shade under an umbrella (except when swimming), I protect my face and body with the La Roche Posay Anthelios XL 50+ sunscreen oil. It smells delicious, has the texture of a dry oil, and is water resistant. On my face, I’ll layer that over the Alchimie Forever prototype of our Daily Defense cream SPF 23 (in the blue bottle), for added antioxidant protection from vitamins C and E, and blueberry and edelweiss extracts.

At the end of the day, when leaving the beach, I’ll slather on my Protective Day Cream, which is lightweight enough for the heat, and our Antioxidant Skin Repair Gel on my body – yes, it is for men, but I love the gel texture and the fresh scent. And all of the anti-inflammatory ingredients are great for post-sun exposure.

To keep my hair frizz-free and to prevent the sun and salt from drying it out, I spray the Aveda Sun Care on a few times per day.

To make my pre-vacation manicure and pedicure last, I carry with me SpaRitual’s Twinkle Shimmer blue (for my toes) and Christian Dior’s Nail Glow (for my fingers) with me (I love that product, it really does make the pink part of my nails pinker, and the white part whiter!).

Finally, I don’t leave the house without my favorite summer product, Huile Prodigieuse by Nuxe. I use it on my face, body, and hair, to nourish my skin and give it a nice glow and prevent dryness from the salt. I even use it in lieu of fragrance, the aroma is so wonderful. No wonder Nuxe sells one of these every 6 seconds!

On that note, I am off to the beach…

BeautyView: Shel Pink, Founder, SpaRitual

I am not easily star struck, not in the traditional Hollywood sense of the word anyway; unless you are Brad Pitt, my heart won’t even skip a beat. I do get completely star struck by successful entrepreneurs, however, as I did a few weeks ago. As I was leaving an industry dinner, I was introduced to Shel Pink, the Founder of SpaRitual. I was speechless for a minute, in awe, grinning uncontrollably, before trying to recover by hiding my non-manicured hands and telling her how much I admired her. And what is there not to admire? She is a gorgeous, successful, beauty entrepreneur, with ties to family business, and the creator of some of my favorite nail polish colors (her Surreal blue is particularly amazing). And she is a poet…

AP: What city were you born in? SP: Royal Oak, Michigan.

AP: What city to do you live in? SP: Los Angeles, CA.

AP: What is your middle name? SP: Lori.

AP: What is your astrological sign? SP: Leo.

AP: What is your favorite thing about the beauty industry? SP: The Spa Tradition.

AP: Least favorite thing. SP: The concept of “anti-aging”.

AP: What is your most prized possession? SP: I don’t have one. I value my family and friends the most.

AP: What is something about you most people don’t know? SP: I am a poet.

AP: Do you wear a watch? If yes, what model? SP: No. I haven’t worn one in over 20 years.

AP: Diamonds or pearls? SP: Blue Garnet.

AP: If you could have dinner with the person of your choice, who would it be? SP: Joseph Campbell.

AP: What is your secret to work/life balance? SP: Exercise.

AP: What are your three top tips for travel? SP: 1. Don’t eat sugar. 2. Meditate 3. Carry a hands-free purse.

AP: What is your favorite book? SP: Women Who Run With The Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes.

AP: What is your cocktail of choice? SP: Anything with ginger liquor.

AP: What is your #1 beauty secret? SP: A regular meditation practice.

AP: What fragrance do you wear? SP: Lovely Day by Ramon Monegal.

AP: Botox or not? SP: Not.

AP: Hair color: natural or not? SP: Natural with highlights.

AP: 3 songs on your ipod right now. SP: Love Song by Elton John, Lovesong by Adele, All I Need Is Love by The Beatles.

AP: Quote to live by. SP: I am.

AP: Who is your mentor? SP: My father-in-law and Orly Founder, Jeff Pink.

AP: Words of advice for young women starting their careers today. SP: Be tenacious.