beauty

74 Nyakio Kamoche Grieco on Thats Total Mom Sense with Kanika Chadda-Gupta

074: Nyakio Kamoche Grieco — Beauty is Skin Deep: Bridging a Gap for POC in the Industry

074: Nyakio Kamoche Grieco — Beauty is Skin Deep: Bridging a Gap for POC in the Industry 1920 1080 Chase Jennings

Today’s episode is about how beauty is skin deep. According to Catalyst.org, women of color will be the majority population in the US by 2060. Isn’t it incredible to think our world population is continuing to evolve.

I am excited to chat with my guest today who’s an accomplished black entrepreneur in the global beauty industry. We’re going to cover colorism and racism in society, how brands are changing the narrative to accommodate all ethnicities and embrace a full range of skin tones, how to support black lives matter, and she’ll share her favorite products with us for every season.

Nyakio (Nee Kay Oh) Kamoche Grieco is the founder of nyakio™, an award-winning collection of prestige skincare products inspired by beauty secrets she discovered through her family, friends and world travels. Her interest in beauty, coupled with a yearning to be an entrepreneur, prompted Nyakio to thoroughly research the cosmetics industry, leading her to the realization that while many cultures were represented, the sophistication of Africa was missing. She decided to not only fill the void in the market, but also honor her heritage by bottling Africa’s timeless beauty traditions, as well as traditions from across Asia, Europe and India.
Nyakio’s authentic story and her one-of-a-kind products, which are must-haves of Hollywood’s elite, provide an enriching and luxurious experience that leaves the skin more youthful-looking. The products are available at Target.com.

Nyakio lives in Los Angeles with her husband, renowned sculptor David Grieco, daughter Lulu, son Rocco and dog Summer.

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048: Lynn Power — Goodbye Bad Hair Days

048: Lynn Power — Goodbye Bad Hair Days 1024 512 Chase Jennings

One of the best byproducts of pregnancy are having the most thick and luscious hair of your life. Personally, my hair grew all the way down to my waist and it was so shiny and healthy.

During pregnancy, there is an increase in the level of estrogen hormones in your body. Estrogen causes hair to remain in a growing phase and stimulates the growth of your hair.

But, as we all know, all good things must come to an end, so during postpartum and your 4th trimester, you may likely encounter hair loss where your body stabilizes and returns to what your growth cycle was all along.

Today’s episode is all about hair – how we can take care of it and maintain it to be healthy, pregnant or not.

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039: Jana Blankenship — Wild Beauty – Why Plant-based is the Way to Go

039: Jana Blankenship — Wild Beauty – Why Plant-based is the Way to Go 1024 512 Chase Jennings

39 Jana Blankenship - Featured

Jana Blankenship authored a book called Wild Beauty and is here to tell us all about it. She is the founder of Captain Blankenship.

Founded in 2009, Captain Blankenship is a green beauty company based in New York’s Hudson River Valley that makes haircare, skincare, bodycare products and scents with organic ingredients. Social responsibility and sustainability of ingredients and packaging are at the heart of the company, which is a B Corp, Leaping Bunny Certified and part of 1% for the Planet. Captain Blankenship was born out of Jana Blankenship’s desire to create organic beauty products that create a direct link with nature. From its birth in Jana’s kitchen, the company has grown into a full product line sold at The Detox Market, Credo Beauty, Anthropologie, Follain, CAP Beauty, and over 300 stores nationally and internationally. Captain Blankenship also launched a gender-neutral skincare and grooming line called Sailor by Captain Blankenship in 2018 that is available in Target stores nationwide. Jana is the author of Wild Beauty, a holistic primer for green beauty rich in practical wisdom, anecdotes and 45 DIY recipes for natural perfumes, skincare, hair care, body care, teas and tonics. She lives in Gardiner, NY with her husband, two children, dog and cat.

She’s a mom of two kiddos, Mila (6) and Caspian (4). She’s a passionate educator about plant based beauty and says, “It’s been a wild ride running a growing business alongside two growing kids, but I am loving the joyful chaos of it all.”

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033: Jenn Kapahi — Back to the Basics in Beauty & Motherhood

033: Jenn Kapahi — Back to the Basics in Beauty & Motherhood 1024 512 Chase Jennings

As moms, we lead very busy lives and whether we’re working women or hold down the fort at home, there’s something that changes in us when we feel we look our best – it’s that mani/pedi, that blowout, or those perfect makeup essentials that take us from feeling drab to fab and ready to put ourselves out there and take on the world.

On today’s episode, we’re zeroing in on makeup essentials that enhance your natural beauty, are quick/easy, don’t take up much real estate in your cosmetic bag or diaper fanny pack, and most importantly have a patented packaging (they’re crayons guys, and who doesn’t love crayons — not just your kids) and unique formulas that give you a fresh, flawless face. The brand I’m talking about is Trestique and I’m here with the founder and Co-CEO, Jenn Kapahi.

Jenn grew up on her family’s organic farm on the North Fork. Besides working in the fields and on the retail stand, her side hustle was waitressing, starting a piano school, babysitting, working with the vet and doing makeup at Saks in Southampton. In college she studied fine art, played on the women’s soccer team and held 3 part time jobs.

Upon graduation, she worked at Bloomingdales and worked her way up to becoming the Assistant Store Manager of the Cosmetics Dept. responsible for 7 brands and 300 employees. She loved the world of makeup but disliked the lack of creativity in the retail sector, which led her to join the marketing team of a top global cosmetic manufacturer, then she moved to Revlon where she worked as a Global Product Developer, and finally, launched her own cosmetics brand, trèStiQue in June 2015.

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My Royal Ritual

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After binge watching the Royal Wedding (from the ceremony to past interviews to everyone’s viewing party posts!), I thought about how nice it would be to grow up in a castle or become a princess (every girl’s dream, right?!) We’ll leave that to Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton who are doing an exceptional job at setting an example for young girls – they’re following expectations of the monarchy without compromising their authenticity and roots.

Today I decided to have my own little “royal ritual” at home before my kids woke up at 7 am. I used Ranavat Botanics Eternal Reign Masque which detoxifies, removes daily build-up and grime, and leaves skin feeling clean, smooth and supple. It’s like a refreshing green smoothie for your face! Ingredients include French green clay, neem, Manuka honey, and vitamin C – all certified organic. The mask is safe to use a few times a week. Believe me, there’s nothing like turning a #caseofthemondays into a #MasqueMonday. Treat yourself like the queen you are. You deserve it ladies!

Shop the Ranavat Botanics collection here.

Michelle Ranavat – Ranavat Botanics

Michelle Ranavat – Ranavat Botanics 1024 820 Kanika

Equipped with an engineering degree and management consulting expertise, training in ballet and Indian semi-classical dance, and a keen eye for detail, there’s nothing this LA-mompreneur of two can’t do. Michelle Ranavat is disrupting the beauty industry with Ranavat Botanics, a luxury skincare line inspired by ancient traditions of Indian royalty, formulated with high performance botanicals. 

Featuring masques, toniques, and serums that are paired together to address unique skin concerns ($40 – $175), the brand is rooted in its simplistic approach and minimal, yet highly potent ingredients. For instance, the Flawless Veil illuminating masque is made up of organic wild turmeric, organic sandalwood, and organic bakuchi seed which work in harmony to uncover fresh skin and help kiss hyper-pigmentation goodbye. All the masques are in their raw powder form which provides for prolonged use (no fear of drying out or cracking!)

Michelle and I chatted about her foray in the beauty sector, mommyhood, and our love for dance (we both are members of Payal Kadakia’s Sa Dance Company). Read on below and shop Ranavat Botanics here.

You said your life started after you became a mom. How so?

Becoming a mom forced me to set a high bar for my career. After graduating, I worked at Lehman Brothers simply to have a brand name on my resume. As I got older, I began to care more about aligning my passion and talents with my job. I figured if I was going to spend time away from my kids pursuing anything, it should be incredibly fulfilling. I am lucky to have a supportive husband and two cheerleaders now.

What was the seed that blossomed into Ranavat Botanics?

I had always been in love with beauty and skincare from an early age, though never saw it as more than a hobby. My mother in law is an aesthetician and when I was pregnant with my older son, she came back from India raving about how well Ayurvedic botanicals worked on her skin. I gave them a try, especially since I was only using all-natural, paraben-free products on my skin at the time. I tried to source them on my own but noticed a major lack of quality and consistency. So I decided to use my experience in supply chain while working at my father’s chemicals company to solve the problem. 

So the concept for the brand came about organically (pun intended)?

Yes! Ranavat is a true representation of my personal style and ethos. For instance, I only have a few key pieces in my wardrobe – they’re simple yet made really well. I want to show skincare enthusiasts like myself and the beauty industry at large how effective a small list of curated ingredients can be when they are made incredibly well. The industrial engineer in me is always fascinated by how things are made. I always say “every ingredient has a story.”

How do you feel India’s ancient philosophies are perceived in the west and how are you looking to push the envelope in the beauty sector?

Often times the masses equate India with yoga and ayurveda. To me, there’s so much more to our culture and I wouldn’t want my beauty line to live in a crunchy environment. Much like what Sabyasachi has done for Indian couture, through Ranavat, I hope to bring out a different side of India – its rich history, ornate palaces and temples, and intricate jewelry. 

What’s unique about Ranavat Botanics?

Ranavat Botanics is treatment based focusing on hydration, detoxification, and illumination. There is one masque and one tonique (a hydrosol) created to address each skin concern. We have also launched Mighty Majesty, a hair and body serum that is lightweight and incredibly hydrating.

As moms, we rarely make time for ourselves. How do you aim to change that?

I used to live my life for those moments I went on vacation or time away. Not with kids, there is no such thing as a vacation so you need to find small ways every day to recharge and feel special. To me, using Mighty Majesty in the morning after my shower takes me to that special place where I feel cared for and nourished. I think that feeling of self-indulgence is even more important when we have kids or are caring for others. 

Did you have any qualms about becoming an entrepreneur? 

I was a little nervous about launching Ranavat because ultimately if it was successful, it would mean leaving my dad’s company. When I told him he said, “I didn’t build my company for you to further my vision. I built it to teach you how to further yours.” When it came time to travel to India to source the best ingredients, my dad came with me. We hit the ground running from farms to factories and we had a blast!

Soon after launch, Ranavat Botanics got picked up by Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom. What was your reaction when you got the news?

Honestly there are times I still can’t believe it! I think having a very unique and strong point of view, aesthetic, and story to tell has played a role in standing out. It has been a combination of timing, the people who have believed in me since the very beginning, luck, and the Ranavat brand.

You and I are both lifelong members of the Sa Dance Company. How has dance shaped you as an entrepreneur? 

I think being an entrepreneur to me is less about solving a problem or inventing something and more about creativity. My passion for dance allows me to express my creativity and has exposed me to my Indian culture in such a deep, meaningful way. 

How do you strike a balance between motherhood and your business (your third baby if you will!)

I feel it’s about the average balance that I establish over the next 2-3 years. Right now, I am pretty work heavy but I hope to scale that back over time so that I can spend more time with my family. I do have some flexibility in my schedule and see the kids as often as I can. There are a lot of night and weekend commitments I hope to slow down in time. 

What advice do you have for mompreneurs?

If you can create a living of something you love and are passionate about, you should do it! There is nothing more meaningful than leading by example for your children and showing them they can bring their dreams to life.

What’s a mantra you live by?

Don’t compare yourself. I think I was really scared to launch my company initially because the skincare market is so saturated. Ultimately, I believe there is always room for quality and individuality. If you have either of those things, it doesn’t matter if it’s the water business – people will want it.