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Natural Beauty: Q&A With Shirley Pinkson

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Shirley-Pinkson

The W3LL PEOPLE cofounder and makeup guru shares her natural beauty tips.

Shirley Pinkson is one of the founders of W3LL PEOPLE, a natural organic-ingredient beauty line. Shirley is an A-list beauty pro with 20 years of experience, and she brings an elite level of artistry and insight to W3LL PEOPLE.

We love what Shirley and her partners are doing to provide toxin-free beauty products to the masses and we’re excited to learn more about how to clean up our cosmetics. Learn more below.

Experience Life | Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how W3LL PEOPLE came to be?

Shirley Pinkson | A bit about me: I’m an A-list beauty pro who brings an elite level of artistry and insight to the W3LL PEOPLE founding team. My 20-year career working in leadership positions at prestigious corporations, ranging from Barney’s New York to M.A.C., is most renowned for success in helping shape NARS Cosmetic into a global phenomenon. Leveraging this wealth of experience, I lead W3LL PEOPLE Supernatural Makeup product development. I reside in my “heart home” of Brooklyn, New York, with my partner and two dogs.

The W3LL PEOPLE story begins in Texas with its cofounders: Visionary and wellness fanatic, James Walker; the A-list beauty pro (me); and our dermatologist, Renee Snyder, MD. We all met each other more than 20 years ago while students at the University of Texas.

EL | What was your aha moment that lead you to switch to using cleaner beauty products?

SP | Frankly, it all started with my clients. More often than not, I was being questioned about the ingredients in the cosmetics I used. I made it my mission to provide proven answers to the questions I was being asked. Needless to say, I did not like what I found. This knowledge drives W3LL PEOPLE’s goal to use only premium quality, natural, organic, and chemical-safe ingredients in our makeup — not just because it’s the right thing to do, but because they’re better.

EL | For those of us just beginning on a product-detox journey, where should we start?

SP | Be gentle on yourself and simply choose a clean cosmetic replacement as you finish off the makeup you already have. If you are ready to make the deep dive today, start with the products that you use every day.

Your strongest weapon is your ability to read a label. Arm yourself with the knowledge of potentially hazardous ingredients and simply choose to avoid them. Visit Safecosmetics.org for an easy punch list of ones to remember and avoid. Put another way, if you can’t pronounce the first five ingredients in a makeup product, it’s probably not good for you.

EL | What are typically the most harmful ingredients lurking in our makeup bag? And what should men consider when purchasing personal-care products?

SP | Actively avoiding products with harsh artificial chemicals provide both positive aesthetic and health benefits. Remember, our skin is our largest organ — we absorb 80 percent of what we put on it. That’s a big deal! When we take a more mindful approach regarding cosmetics we can avoid troublesome chemicals that potentially harm us.

Big offenders include parabens, propylene glycol, petroleum products, nano particles, coal tars, and phthalates. This kind of more mindful choice feels much more powerful, healthy, and beautiful. It’s kind of like how you feel after a delicious meal from your favorite farm-to-table restaurant using rich, local ingredients — instead of that fast-food drive-through.

EL | Once weve thrown out the top offenders, restocking our products can feel overwhelming. What are your go-to essentials?

SP | Choose the product that you use every day, whether it be your foundation, your tinted moisturizer, your mascara, or your body lotion.

Throw away anything you haven’t worn in six months. The less that you have to dig through, the quicker you can get to the task at hand!

EL | How does W3LL PEOPLE cosmetics stand apart from the crowded beauty market?

SP | W3LL PEOPLE has made an active and conscious choice to do more than create naturally fierce products. W3LL PEOPLE offers an “eco-lux” experience driven by the integration of optimal product performance, bioavailable product ingredients, and sustainable business practices. From our green-certified Studio in Austin, Texas, built from sustainable materials, such as recycled denim, to its mindfully operated Santa Fe headquarters, our mission is to bring a fresh, safe focus to beauty by selling products with proven, medical-grade nutrients that replenish the skin without harming the planet. Bottom line, you will receive the performance you demand without compromise.

EL | Being the makeup guru of the W3LL PEOPLE founding partners, whats your favorite (natural) beauty tip?

SP | Less is more.

Put your makeup and skincare to work. Less is actually more, especially when you make choices for your makeup bag that suit more than one of your beauty needs.

Natural products are not only better for you, they are efficient and empowering. Empowering because you’ve made a happier choice; efficient because they often serve more than one purpose.

Laura Fogelberg is Experience Life's marketing manager.

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