Josie Maran lives a model green life. In 2006, the former model and actress put her environmental prowess to the test by launching her own line of eco-friendly natural cosmetics and this year she was honored by The Daily Green as a green role model.
We spoke to Josie about her line, her lifestyle, and how she responds to the critics.
Why did you decide to start Josie Maran Cosmetics? As a model I wore a lot of makeup. I was the face of Maybelline for 10 years and around the industry a lot. I paid attention to the business -- the style, the trends. Im an entrepreneur at heart. I always wanted to own my own business.
I also grew up in a socially conscious family in the Bay Area. My dads a green builder. My mom comes from a big family so she grew up very resourceful. And we grew up reusing things and repurposing things.
When I was in the makeup chair I would always ask the makeup artist if they had anything that was healthy and natural. And theyd always say that [natural makeup] wasnt good and we would never be able to use it in a shoot.
I worked on it for three years and I think I proved that you can have healthy and really high-performing makeup.
What makes Josie Maran Cosmetics different from other companies?
I have a no-no list and I aim to make my products as natural and organic as possible. Everything has to be nontoxic. We have no parabens, no petrochemicals. Were always reformulating. My goal is to make products nontoxic and healthy. You have to be realistic about getting high performing makeup. There are chemicals that arent toxic. Weve put them together in a new way thats not toxic. You have to ask a a lot of questions of the lab. And were doing as much research into the ingredients as possible and reformulating when things arent as good as they could be.
I wanted a makeup makeup artists could use. And they do! I have a lot of friends from my modeling days who are not using it. Just today I just got a call from Megan Foxs makeup artist who said she didnt want any petroleum-based cosmetics. A lot of celebrities are catching on.
What do you say to critics who argue that your products arent natural enough?
Im learning every day.
You can always be better. I want people trust my products so its hard to hear that. Ill always be honest, and people should make their choices based on the information they have.
If products dont perform people arent going to come back for them.
What tips do you have for women when it comes to wearing makeup?
Too much makeup is never pretty. But you also shouldnt be scared of makeup. Be playful. I used to be scared to do a smoky eye or something more out of the box. Its all about putting it on lightly and layering it slowly.
Ingredient wise, less is more. A lot of products have a lot of ingredients in them. Youve got to take care of your skin. Have days off. Dont wear makeup every day. A little tinted moisturizer is always helpful.
I cant live without the Argan oil. I really wouldnt know what to do without it. It balances and moisturizes my skin.
Read the labels. If theres something you cant understand or pronounce, look it up. Youll find information on it. Its really important to not just think of today but what these ingredients might do to you a few years down the road.
What are the barriers for green makeup and skin care lines gaining wider acceptance?
I think getting over the stigma that they dont work. That theyre not cool or glamorous. Once people see that there a lot of brands making natural products, theyll start believing in it. Itll take time but when enough information gets out there everybody will just get it.
So, is it true? Do you live in a solar-powered house?
No! But I do have a very green house. A lot of wood in our house is repurposed wood from an old barn. We use organic and non toxic cleaning supplies. I have a Prius and I try to ride my bike as much as possible.
Another thing is educating our kids and giving them nontoxic food and instead of throwing so much away, composting. Were going to get people to go natural via the next generation. My daughter is almost four and she doesnt know anything else. She knows how to recycle.
What one message would you like to send out to people on Earth Day?
Understand that were all connected. If we do one thing every day, it can really help, and well all live a better life because of it. Look out for your family.
See more from the 2010 Heart of Green Awards
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