Carefully Formulated + Safely Tested
"Violets Are Blue was created because of a personal need for skincare that is natural and safe for the body as well as the environment."
Violets Are Blue Founder, Cynthia Besteman
Behind the Brand: Violets Are Blue Skincare
This week we sit down with Violets Are Blue founder, Cynthia Besteman for our "Behind the Brand" interview. In this feature we discuss how her brand creates premium, natural skincare products and where she gets the inspiration for luxury skincare line Violets Are Blue. When it comes to natural luxury, look no further than Violets Are Blue. Let's take a look inside...
Born in Seattle, Cynthia first landed in New York City determined to to find her way as an actress, after completing a major in theater at the University of Oregon. She worked on Broadway for 10yrs before checking out the real estate scene and quickly became one of the top brokers in the city. After receiving a breast cancer diagnosis in 2011, Cynthia’s successful career in the cutthroat world of New York City real estate came to a skidding halt.
While undergoing treatment, one of her first actions was to toss out all beauty products containing unsafe chemicals and synthetic fragrances, leaving her medicine cabinet bare. She was shocked by the mislabeling of many skincare and beauty products that were classified as "natural" while containing parabens, sulfates, and other chemicals known known to work as endocrine disruptors linked to cancer and reproductive concerns. She dove into the world of natural skincare, learning everything she could about essential oils, and other natural ingredients that work effectively to nourish, cleanse, and hydrate without causing harm. Cynthia learned that there are key botanicals and herbs that can alleviate and treat problems for any skin type or age.
"Every product is carefully handcrafted and hand-filled in small batches."
She drew upon this, along with her desire to give back, and established Violets Are Blue in 2015. She used her knowledge and passion for naturally-derived skincare ingredients to formulate a consciously-produced line of products, each one a true labor of love. In addition to developing new products for the Signature and Beloved lines, Cynthia provides patients at the Mt. Sinai Dubin Breast Center in NYC with a gifted package of Beloved products upon their first day of chemotherapy.
Since its inception, Violets Are Blue has been awarded Best In Show by the Indie Beauty Expo, Best Brand with a mission by Sophie Uliano's Gorgeously Green Beauty Awards and Cynthia has been featured in top magazines such as Women's Day, Self, Organic Spa and Health Magazine, just to name a few.
Violets Are Blue is proud to have created a company that supports women helping women, with 10% of the purchase price of all products going toward skincare donations for cancer patients. Violets Are Blue operates under the philosophy that skincare does not have to be complicated; in fact, keeping it simple is best.
What inspired you to create your natural skincare line, Violets Are Blue?
"I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011, out of the blue (no family history, no genes, I hadn't had red meat in 20yrs, never smoked etc) and it made me really look at not only what I was putting in my body, but what I was putting on it. After throwing out all of my endrocrin disrupting skincare I started making my own products to help keep my skin safe during treatment and women noticed how healthy I stayed and wanted some of what I was using! That is how I not only started my company, but how I got involved in donating product to women undergoing treatment for breast cancer at Mount Sinai in NYC."
What is the mission of Violets Are Blue?
"We want women to be empowered and inspired by our products and with each purchase of a Violets Are Blue product, 10% goes toward our skincare donations for women Mount Sinai in New York City. We are women helping women, women helping each other get and stay happy and healthy."
What experience do you want people to have with Violets Are Blue skincare products?
"I want them to see us as a trusted friend. One that is reliable, won't let you down and is looks out for you. I want them to trust that we have done the work to bring a beautiful product that works, and that what you are putting on your body is one less thing to worry about! I want them to see the multiple functions of each product and know that simple is best and you don't need to spend an hour in the bathroom to look and feel beautiful."
What is your skincare ritual?
"I do a small thing everyday and that is, before I apply my lotion, I rub it between my hands and take a strong smell of it. This gives me a moment to take in the amazing essential oils (lavender from the hills in provence for instance) and it just chills me out for a second. It then slows down the application, so as I'm not just slapping it on! I take my time and relax! I also love masking once a week! That is strictly because it leaves my face so soft! I have to force myself to do it but I never regret the time it takes!"
What personal beauty tips can you share?
"I say to women everyday, if you do one thing to be pro active in not getting breast cancer, change your deodorant. You shave your armpits, nick yourself and then slather on aluminum which goes right into your bloodstream. The closest lymph nodes are the ones that filter your chest, neck and head. Studies are finding aluminum plays a role, not only in breast cancer but early onset dementia and alzheimer's as well."
What are your favorite Violets Are Blue products?Oh god! That is like picking a favorite child!! I will say, the one thing I use every single day is our White Tea Facial Cleanser. It is great no matter how my skin is feeling and not only does it take off my make up with ease, it leaves my skin feeling soft and moisturized. I also use it to shave my legs! The other thing I am never without is our Lip Balm and my current obsession is our newly launched Magnesium Deodorant.
What challenges have you experienced on your skincare journey?
"I am a "need to keep it simple" kind of gal. I am not one to take a long time in the bathroom playing with skincare and make up. I want to make sure what I am using, is fast yet effective. Simple to use yet gets the job done! I am also learning to embrace aging and erase the "anti-aging" tag line from my vocabulary. Age is something not given to all and we need to age gracefully and thankfully."
What makes you passionate about your brand?
"I meet women everyday who want to make cleaner choices, and many of them are women who have never been touched by cancer. They have the desire, they just don't know where to start, or they feel it has to be a huge undertaking to switch to green beauty. The time has never been easier to make the change. So many companies have green beauty products that are as good, if not better than conventional products. I also hear from women daily on how much our products have helped them through their chemotherapy and how beautiful they feel. I literally cry reading each email!"
What do you love about being in the clean beauty industry?
"The clean beauty community is one of the most inclusive, supportive, engaged communities I have ever been a part of. Many other founders have become good friends of mine and we support each other daily. I also love our stance on animal testing. In this day and age, there is absolutely no reason to test anything on an animal. I love the passion the community has for safer labelling, safer packaging, protecting our reef and eco system. It is not about the dollar, it is about making a change."
What city is Violets Are Blue based?
"Violets Are Blue is a natural skin care line based in New York City."