My journey to lipstick begins with perfume….
I never set out to make perfume. I just felt I had to support brave farmers rebuilding to find a way to peace. Once I entered the world of beauty through our social enterprise, I realized so many fragrances were filled with phthalates and added parabens that are not good for your skin. So I set about creating The 7 Virtues fragrance collection made without those harmful chemicals (our fragrances are phthalate free, paraben free & vegan). It gives me personal satisfaction meeting women at my talks who share with me that The 7 Virtues is the only fragrance they can wear because it does not irritate their skin.
Good for the world. Good for your skin.
Well now, the same journey has begun for me with lipstick. This journey all began when I realized we had extra oils from our farmers left over. These oils cost a great deal so we can support them. We had extra rose oil from Afghanistan that costs $10000 USD a litre and orange blossom oil (neroli) that is $8000 USD a litre. I had to find a way to use up these oils. So I began making moisturizing peace candles. We hand poured every single candle ourselves. I found the process very meditative. It’s very relaxing to turn your mind off. Like gardening, working with your hands is one of the greatest forms of relaxation. The scent of the gardens of Afghanistan would carry me to the distant past times of peace and an Afghan culture when the great Kings of Afghanistan taught men and women in the orange groves, where learning was for all men and women. I love being transported to other lands through the power of scent.
Our organic patchouli oil reminds me of our visit to our distillery with our farmers there who survived the genocide. Our patchouli blend that my husband had a big hand in designing reminds me of our supplier Nicholas’ wife Elsie. She made us tea and we drank cups of it and learned more about one another on the four hour drive deep into rural Rwanda. I can breath in the candle and I am instantly back at the distillery. It reminds me of Elsie’s patchouli tea. For me, knowing our patchouli is supporting our friends in purchasing school uniforms for their children and their own homes. It’s more than just beauty. It’s really life changing.
While working with the moisturizing candles and the soy wax that has vitamin E and healing properties for your skin (You can pour our candle soy wax on your hands and voila, velvety, dewy, lightly scented hands), I began to think about the products we put on our skin. I did some research and learned that a woman will consume as much as 3.5 pounds of lipstick in her lifetime! I just had to research to find out more about what goes into lipstick.
Did you know that 5000 years ago Egyptian women used crushed beetles to create the red in their lipstick! What’s worse, they still put crushed beetles in lipstick today except they call it carmine. I prefer to use other natural colours with some mica for the blends I am designing. After all, I don’t think you want to eat 3.5 lbs of beetles in your lifetime. I certainly don’t.
I am bringing the whole line back to the original theme of The 7 Virtues of a Philosopher Queen book, celebrating women’s empowerment. You will enjoy the story we are building here for the launch with our partners. Mostly, I want you to enjoy our lipstick collection. Feel good that it is edible, supports families rebuilding and just as importantly, heals your lips! Next week we meet with our chemists and finalize the formulations and begin manufacturing. I am excited to design our lipsticks with you all. I will be asking for your thoughts and direction and will be very grateful for your support as always.
Finally our lipstick addiction is considered truly virtuous 😉