Letter from the Editors: Women Lead the Way

October is definitely all about women; with breast cancer awareness and day of the girl activities dominating social awareness events. However, what is interesting this year is that rather than it just being a month to celebrate the strength, ingenuity, creativity, diversity, and beauty of women; this month is rather a continuation in a shift in the conversation of women’s rights and women demanding better for themselves, that has been going on for the past few years.

In the world of Indie Beauty these conversations are equally as pervasive; particularly as it relates to what is in our products. The consumer demand for the removal of harmful ingredients and stricter regulation of the skincare, haircare, and makeup industries is driving commercial brands to reformulate products and/or put out “clean” lines but it has also opened the door for once indie brands to enter and redefine the mainstream.

The EU is ahead of the curve. In European Union (EU) countries a lot of the guess work when it comes to product safety and efficacy has been done for you because those tests are required prior to receiving certification to sell in the EU. Even for naturally derived products they test the ingredients/formulations, investigate the sources of your raw materials, and review your packaging and labeling to ensure accuracy and transparency of ingredients and claims. While this certification process might send some brands running for the hills, the requirements aren’t more than what the average informed consumer would expect from a beauty brand. It is however more rigorous than the beauty product regulations, or lack thereof, in the United States. Here you have to do a great deal of your own research or come to a site like ours to get detailed product reviews and or recommendations. 

Sephora joins the trend. Even beauty powerhouse, Sephora, is hopping on the clean beauty bandwagon this year. They began by carrying up and coming clean beauty brands like Caudalie, Korres, Youth to the People, and most recently Indie Lee. Now they are clearly defining and identifying which of the brands they carry have clean and or naturally-derived ingredients with a green “Clean at Sephora” seal. All products with this seal are free of: sulfates SLS and SLES, parabens, formaldehydes, formaldehyde-releasing agents, phthalates, mineral oil, retinyl palmitate, oxybenzone, coal tar, hydroquinone, triclosan, and triclocarban. Furthermore, all skincare and makeup brands with this seal have less than 1% synthetic fragrances. While we still neurotically check ingredients lists before we buy any beauty product, it is great to see a commercial retailer recognize and address the fact that their consumers are more informed and care about what ingredients are in their products. Rather than just being a trend, we hope that this becomes the new normal.

Your skin but better is a mantra we have heard a lot during the past year. Makeup now is about enhancing rather than masking. Some of our favorite YouTube makeup artists have been starting their videos with skincare and or skin prep showcasing several natural/clean skincare lines. Where applicable they have been increasingly incorporating naturally derived makeup brands. More than just promoting these products, there is an increase in the dialogue around their personal skincare stories. Indie/cult brands like The Ordinary and Milk Makeup are blurring the line between skincare and makeup. Larger commercial brands like Becca cosmetics, with their new Skin Love collection, are jumping on the bandwagon by developing makeup that also nourishes your skin.

Beauty inside out. The mainstreaming of holistic beauty regimens is a trend we are very excited to see. Not only are women asking what is in their products but what are the benefits of those ingredients beyond topical application. Is it going to improve my mood? Is it going to help me stay fit and healthy? One such ingredient is turmeric. We are kind of obsessed with it! Last year we did a post on the benefits of turmeric; specifically when ingested in the form of a “Golden Milk” mixture. One of our new favorites is from a brand called GOLDE, that makes a golden milk mixture with matcha powder and another with cacao powder. The later is like the best guilt-free hot chocolate you will ever have! There are also commercially available turmeric facial masks, scrubs, and skin treatments. If you’re more of a DIY kind of girl, it is such an easy ingredient to work with as it is best used alone or with only a few ingredients.

What is beauty? Brands like Fenty Beauty are redefining what it means to be beautiful. Now some may wonder why we would be mentioning Fenty Beauty when it is not a clean or naturally derived makeup brand. While their ingredients do not put them in the clean beauty list they are leading the dialogue around diversity and representation in the beauty industry. It is a brand with a socially conscious message that rings true with our own ethos of Timeless, Conscious, Beauty. Furthermore, as we have said many times, our primary objective is to educate women about what is in their products so that they can make an informed decision about what they do or don’t want to put on their bodies. While using all natural products is our preference, not everything we use is all natural, but we can tell you exactly what is in our non-natural products and why we chose to use them.

A beautiful impact is not just the latest statement lipstick, but creating a brand driven by a social mission focused on uplifting the communities that help to create the product by nurturing and harvesting the raw ingredients. Our original inspiration for Coup de Coiff was from our observation of how local people use indigenous ingredients to create effective personal care products. We wanted to help these people expand their businesses outside of their local communities as a way to stimulate local economies. While we are continuing to work on our platform, there are many brands in indie beauty driven by their own social missions to do good in the neighborhood. Stay tuned as we spotlight some of our favorite women-owned indie beauty brands creating social change.

Show me the money! The reality is, most good ideas cost money to execute. The challenge is, how do you find the resources and sell-in your strategy? We were excited to see Arlan Hamilton, the founder of Backstage Capital, on the cover of Fast Company’s October issue. In the article she dishes on what it took for her to start and what she looks for in businesses she chooses to fund. This inspired us to re-focus on how we can help small businesses. Starting this month, expect to see more content focused on helping new indie beauty startups make it out of the red.

Where would we be without you? Everyday at Coup de Coiff is a new challenge and opportunity for us. In the last year alone, we welcomed so many new people into our world via our site and social media, including welcoming 1k instagram followers at the end of September. We could not be more thankful that you are here. Thank you for continuing to support us. We will continue to deliver the highest quality content just for you. Please let us know if there is anything you would like to see more of or just drop us a note to say hello!

- Kawthar & Fawziyya