Chief Eco Officer, Josie Maran Cosmetics
Posted on: February 8, 2012 | Go to profile
After logging many hours in the make-up chair as an internationally renown model on the covers of Glamour, Vogue, Elle, Marie Claire, Mademoiselle and Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issues, Josie learned the power of make-up to transform a look as well as a mood. When pregnant with her daughter, Rumi, Josie became more conscious than ever about what she put on and inside her body, noted a hole in the market for eco friendly products and decided to create her own natural cosmetic brand, Josie Maran Cosemetics. Capitalizing on the huge success of her makeup brand, Josie has given back to the planet with several environment-benefiting beauty-product campaigns, following the core value of Josie Maran: the combination of luxurious natural cosmetics and charity to make the world a more beautiful place.
Q: Please share with us the story of how your professional journey began and has brought you to where you are today.
A: I was raised in a bohemian household in Northern California and grew up appreciating natural, unpretentious beauty. We were always into a socially conscious way of living. As a top model, I learned about makeup from the best in the business. I learned what works and what doesn’t, which ingredients to seek out and which to avoid. Over time, I noticed a hole in the market as it was hard to find products that matched an eco approach to life. When I was pregnant, I became more conscious than ever about the ingredients and products I put on and inside my body. After the birth of my daughter, Rumi, I took on the endeavor of creating a safe and both paraben and toxic free line of my own. My products are made with superior ingredients and housed in chic, biodegradable packaging, ensuring that we embrace eco-friendly initiatives wherever possible. Today, Josie Maran Cosmetics offers products that are pure and gentle, that contain no toxins or ingredients that damage the planet and yet have the level of sophistication and luxury that I expect from only the best cosmetic lines.
Q: Who is a leader that you have great respect for and why?
A: EcoFabulous superstar Zem Joaquin is a friend of mine, and she recently told me that it’s always important to “walk the talk.” This is something I’m definitely conscious of since I always want to be truthful and genuine personally and professionally. Being an entrepreneur, activist and mother keeps me on top of always trying to practice what I preach.
Q: I love the quote “the bigger the vision, the smaller the first step.” Right now, what is the big vision you have for your career?
A: I want to contribute to making positive change, and I also want to create something fun, beautiful, and luxurious. My dream is to build a brand with so much influence and popularity that my customers and I can work together to make the world a better place.
Q: What do you feel separates your brand from your competitors?
A: When I created my line, I wanted to have the best of both worlds – a product that performs well and is also healthy for people and the environment. Josie Maran Cosmetics is “cosmetics with a conscience” – fragrance free, sustainable, paraben and petrochemical free, organic, cruelty free, natural, biodegradable, and recycled. Josie Maran Cosmetics is a complete collection of pure, natural and evolved cosmetics that is chic, luxurious and beautiful. My formulas are created with natural, organic, nontoxic and gentle ingredients (including avocado, coconut, flax, jojoba, olive, soybean, beeswax, cocoa butter and shea butter), as well as innovative proprietary formulas that allow them to look and feel high-end. Even the compacts are made of a corn based plastic (PLA), the lipsticks and concealers are all housed in aluminum, the Argan Oil bottled in glass, and the outer boxes are made from 30% recycled stock and soy ink.
ON Starting Out
Q: If you had a young sister or a daughter who was a senior in college, anxious about landing her first job or unsure of what she wanted to do, what would your advice be to her?
A: Though my daughter, Rumi Joon, is still only a little girl, I know one day I’ll be giving her advice on her career and helping her make those big life decisions we all face. When she’s ready to take on the world, I’ll tell her to remember how beautiful she is and to remind her to be confident and strong—to never take “no” for an answer. All women should feel empowered. If you want to go out and do something, just go do it!
Q: What simple things in life today bring you joy?
A: I love to spend time with my daughter outside and close to nature—whether it is at the beach or at the park. This is refreshing and relaxing for both of us.
ON Giving Back
Q: What cause(s) have you chosen to support and why does it resonate with you?
A: Handling my business in an environmentally responsible way is very important for me. I want my company to do well by doing good—for others and for our planet. And to that end, we are always looking for new charities to partner with. Currently, a portion of the proceeds of all products sold in our line go to Marocavie, a Moroccan nonprofit that works to promote the sustainability of the Moroccan semi-deserts which is where we harvest our pure Argan Oil. Also, in August 2010, we partnered with the City of Hope cancer treatment center to launch the GOGO Natural Volume Argan Mascara. GOGO stands for Get One Give One, and for every mascara sold, we are donating one to a patient undergoing treatment. When I was developing my line, I saw the scary link between cosmetics and cancer. I am dedicated to making safe and healthy cosmetics and wanted to give back to a program that helps cancer patients. When I visited City of Hope, I was so inspired by the strength and beauty of the patients. I can only imagine the day to day challenges that some of the patients are faced with, so I hope that I can bring a little peace and beauty into their lives with my line. These days, so many people’s lives are touched by cancer. My grandmother battled breast cancer, so I’ve always been sensitive to the disease and wanted to do something to help fight against it.
ON Giving Back
Q: Can you share with us an experience of giving that was extremely rewarding or transformational?
A: When we launched the GOGO Mascara and campaign, I spent a day with the patients at City Of Hope. I brought my team of makeup artists with me and we hosted an afternoon of inspirational makeovers. The strength, beauty, and bravery of the women I met that day was so inspiring. The fact that I was able to help them feel beautiful inside and out with the products in my line was one of the most rewarding moments for me.
Q: Oprah has that great section in her magazine “What I know for sure.” What do you know for sure?
A: I know that often your lot in life is a reflection of your perception and of the way you treat others.
I know that getting out in nature—playing in the mud, walking among trees, growing vegetables—is the best way to understand your own fragility and the strength of the planet.
I know that there are no guarantees for another lifetime, so savor every moment carefully.
I know that all positive actions and changes, whether big or small, are worth doing.
Q: What are the top 3 things that you do to stay healhy?
A: The best way to stay healthy is to eat right, exercise, and keep a positive attitude. My exercise of choice is yoga. I also try to eat organic, vegan and vegetarian as much as possible. It’s what’s best for the environment.
Q: How do you respond to the question “How has having a child changed your life?”
A: Awareness of environmental issues was a natural part of my upbringing—my father is a green builder, my mother an artist, my grandmother a human rights activist/professor at UC Berkeley. We were always into a socially conscious way of living. But, I do feel that now having a daughter of my own has led me to a whole new “eco-awakening”– inspiring me to be even more conscious of our impact on the environment. As I mentioned already, it was the birth of my daughter, Rumi Joon, that jumpstarted Josie Maran Cosmetics. Becoming a mother inspired me to take a look at my life and ask, ‘What can I do for the world? How can I contribute?’ I knew I wanted to create my signature line that was both good for the skin and not detrimental to the environment.
Q: What are the beauty items you could not live without?
A: I cannot live without Argan Oil—it’s my favorite moisturizer for skin, hair and nails. So, it was a must that I include this 100% organic wonder-ingredient in the Josie Maran Cosmetics line. Argan Oil is an all-natural, 100% organic, chemical-free beauty marvel that works. I use my Argan Oil in the mornings and at night. It keeps my skin fresh and dewy even in harsh weather. I even use it on my hair to prevent split ends and on my nails to moisturize my cuticles! It’s grown in Morocco (organically) and is rich in vitamin E and essential fatty acids. Argan Oil has been used to treat acne, stretch marks and skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis.