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Beauty

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She’s a former makeup artist turned natural beauty product guru and advocate for the world’s pollinators. Click here to read more.

Emily Hoskins has a vision of making the world a more beautiful place. The former makeup artist turned entrepreneur wants to offer her customers better skin through her eco-friendly lifestyle brand with vegan skincare and all-natural cosmetic products, while creating a brighter future for the world’s pollinators at the same time.

Her business, Green Bee, was launched after she learned about the thin line between insects and humans. “I was touched by the story of the Monarch butterfly and its incredible migration,” she explains. “Unfortunately, scientists have observed a significant decline in the species in recent years and I wanted to do what I could to help.”

In that time, since she found a spark of inspiration from a pollinator, Hoskins will celebrate the one year anniversary of her business on Earth Day 2020. And in those 12 months, she has stayed true to her long term goal of the business: to create a one-stop-shop for eco-friendly goods, including the creation of new goods. 

“In addition to our all-natural, cruelty-free beauty products, we now have a beautiful collection of jewelry, bath, and household goods, which have been carefully curated from sustainable, low-impact, and women-owned businesses across the USA,” she says. “More items are being added everyday, and we can’t wait to share them with Cincy Chic readers.”

Hoskins had plans to launch new home goods this spring at vendor events, but in the wake of COVID-19 has since created a Facebook group for the V.I.Bees (Very Important Bees) of the Green Bee Hive. In the group, members receive a 20% discount on all Green Bee cosmetics and skincare as well as first dibs on new products. “Some items are exclusive to our V.I.Bees group and we often ask for input from the group on new products and color selections,” she adds. 

Emily Hoskins, founder of Green Bee

Additionally, even with everything going on in the world right now, Hoskins says she’s still working to create protected spaces for our pollinators. “We recently helped the Anderson Township Historical Society Urban Farm gain Monarch Waystation certification through the University of Kansas Monarch Watch program,” she explains. “The Cincinnati Zoo’s Pollen Nation program is also a great registry for protected spaces for all pollinators.”

Through the program, Hoskins explains, Green Bee helps to guide individuals, businesses, and non-profits through the certification process as well as provide the funding for the certification.

You can support Green Bee and its mission through this difficult time by following along on social media, joining their Facebook group, and reading and sharing the blog on the website. “We have waived our shipping fee for the foreseeable future, but are still maintaining our standard of 100% recycled and rescued shipping boxes and packaging materials,” she says. “We are very proud of our efforts to donate a portion of every single sale to our mission of preserving and protecting pollinators and their habitat in our community. Come join the Green Bee Hive and help us make a difference.”

To learn more about Green Bee, visit https://greenbeeohio.com. You can also follow along on Facebook (where you can join the V.I.Bee group) and Instagram.

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Inspired by her own health struggles, one local lady began an all-natural body care business with a mission to offer affordable products with ingredients you can actually pronounce.

Erin Christen launched Earthganics in 2016 after suffering a slew of health issues. From infertility to endocrine disease, she set out on a mission to change the products that she was not only putting on her body, but what her potential customers were putting on their bodies as well. 

“Once I started to really understand that ingredients can play a huge role in affecting our systems and functions, I began to take a look at the products I was using multiple times a day, every day,” she explains. “I would read the ingredient list and become frustrated when I didn’t know 95% of what was listed and could hardly pronounce them.”

That’s when, she says, she knew she needed to make a change for herself, her family, and others. 

Earthganics is a business that offers health products at an affordable price with minimal ingredients – that you can actually pronounce. She started off with deodorants and the rest is history. 

However, before she could launch an affordable body care business, she needed to learn how to create these products.

Then she thought back to her childhood, and how her mother used to make lip balms and sunscreen for the family. 

“I thought: a deodorant has the same consistency as a lip balm,” she explains. “I started picking her brain on the processes. I really started studying DIY videos, reading healthy product blogs, researching ingredients. I really started to understand the specific ingredients and how they work with body chemistry. Trust me, it was not a recipe test that worked out the first time. It took multiple attempts with a lot of mistakes.”

Erin Christen, Founder of Earthganics

In the time since she launched Earthganics, Christen says that she’s grown in a variety of ways. She’s learned lessons in letting go when it comes to products that didn’t sell or locations that carried her line that didn’t work out. But when she thinks back on the very beginning, she says that she remembers selling products without a label and the smaller events she attended.

She’s also grown in the expansiveness of her business. Before COVID-19 arrived, Christen was planning a second phase of Earthganics called “Love Mother Earth” on Kickstarter. 

“Phase one, I like to refer to as ‘Love Yourself,’” she explains. “This is where we have been choosing the healthier products for ourselves and our families. Phase two is evaluating the single-use containers we are using and do better for our environment.” 

Earthganics is currently looking at ways to have refill options, glass options, and how supporting retailers can participate.

“With COVID-19 and not knowing what the next couple months will bring, we are putting this on hold until 2021,” she explains. “It’s important that we allow people to get back on their feet and be ready to support the community and what we are trying to bring to it. This will be a campaign that everyone can participate in. We will be offering product packages for certain set amounts but we are always accepting of the most minimal financial support as well. I will have a launch party to start of the campaign and this will be a fun event where I can truly thank you for your support in person and offer a wonderful experience to go along with it. Stay tuned and stay in touch by signing up for our mailing list on Earthganics.com!”

With all that Christen and Earthganics has been through in recent weeks, she says that she’s learned to roll with the punches. “Nothing ever turns out as expected and it’s easier on yourself if you can calmly come up with solutions,” she says.

Earthganics has its biggest presence on Facebook, but you can also check out www.earthganics.com to purchase products and sign up for the mailing list. Earthganics is also on Instagram and Twitter

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Get back that just-left-the-salon look with new hair survival kits from a local salon and spa.

Raise your hand if your beauty routine is taking a hit with all the salons and spas currently closed across Ohio.

To take some of the stress out of missing hair appointments, Kim Harper Salon & Spa is offering hair survival kits to clients. “During this time when we are unable to see our clients, we wanted to give them an option to help recover their roots/grey regrowth at home without taking on the risk of store-bought box color,” says Tara Thal, Salon Director of Kim Harper Salon & Spa. 

The Hair Survival Kits consist of two products from the salon’s professional color brand Wella. They include an easy, ammonia-free, conditioning color enhancer that provides up to 30 percent grey coverage paired with a touch-up root powder that can be applied to further camouflage roots, similar to an eye shadow.

“We match both to your current color for a customized solution that can help our clients feel like themselves while waiting out the pandemic safely at home,” says Thal. “We can arrange for pickup or delivery.”

Also during COVID-19 and the lockdown, clients can order their favorite, typically salon-exclusive Kevin.Murphy products directly from the website and have them shipped to your doorstep. “Our other brands, such as Davines and Bioelements, can be ordered through our email address or social media accounts for pickup and delivery,” says Thal. “We are also posting some fantastic styling tutorials and hair hacks on our social media accounts.”

Once the doors to salons are permitted to open again, Harper Thal and her team are looking forward to continuing their connections with clients and to help elevate the perception of women-owned businesses, particularly those within the beauty industry. “Our team is a tight-knit group of strong, professional, intelligent women who love their craft and are constantly honing their skills,” says Thal. 

Kim Harper Salon & Spa is located in Mason near Deerfield Towne Center. “We offer a range of hair and skin services and high quality, eco-friendly products,” says Thal.

To learn more, visit kimharpersalonandspa.com or reach out to them directly at kimharpersalon@gmail.com. You can also follow the salon on Instagram and Facebook to see hair tutorials and the latest news.

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Keep your skin healthy with this locally-based eco-conscious soap company that’s giving back to the CPS community during the COVID-19 outbreak.

When it comes to giving clients healthier skin while remaining eco-conscious, Courtney Lawrence’s brand Minor Obsession is the woman for the job. 

Lawrence is the founder and maker at Minor Obsession, a home essentials brand that makes eco-conscious products for healthier skin. She says the inspiration for the business arose when she became obsessed about the ingredients of products she was putting into her body and on her skin. 

“Obsessively looking at ingredient labels became my minor obsession about 10 years ago,” she says. “So, when I thought of creating my own product line, I wanted to highlight products that are ingredient conscious, safe for the environment, and most importantly, smell amazing.”

The Walnut Hills native and University of Toledo graduate holds a bachelor’s degree in biology, giving her the additional insight she  needs to offer products that are healthy and eco-friendly. 

Currently, Minor Obsession offers four different types of bar soaps: The Soothing Gentle Oatmeal Bar Soap, The Detoxing Charcoal Vetiver Bar Soap, The Calming Lavender Sage Bar Soap, and The Cooling Green Tea Mint Bar Soap. She also hopes to be launching The Refreshing Golden Hour Bar Soap this summer. 

“Each of our soaps are formulated with five moisturizing plant oils, gentle exfoliating clays, and a unique blend of essential oils,” she explains. “All of the soaps are made without palm-oil, animal-byproducts, synthetic colorants, and fragrances.”

Soaps from Minor Obsession are $8 and during the COVID-19 outbreak, Lawrence is donating soaps to students at local Cincinnati Public Schools schools for their hygiene kits.

The COVID-19 outbreak has also given Lawrence the time to focus on research and development for expanding her product line. “In the future you can expect the addition of bathing salts, coffee scrubs, and a step into home fragrances,” she says. 

To learn more about Minor Obsession, visit minorobsession.co. You can also follow along on Facebook and Instagram.

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A local upscale salon recently opened a second location to offer clients and extended service menu. Click here for a peek inside.

Steve and Elizabeth White opened their first salon location for W Salon in 2015. Together, the duo has more than 22 years in the salon industry gaining experience, creating relationships, and helping people look and feel good. 

“With the ever changing industry and the creation of lofts for beauty professionals, we have seen a shift from the traditional ‘commission’ salons to the loft setting environment where stylists can have control of their careers,” says Elizabeth White. “However, the loft/private room environment isn’t for everyone and we saw the need for an upscale salon model with a positive environment with a great team, education, support, and quality product lines not found or available in the loft settings.”

With those thoughts in mind the two opened their first W Salon location and have recently opened their second studio space.

“Our team grew very quickly with awesome people and awesome clients,” says White. “A good friend of mine, Mark Neff, approached us regarding a purchase of hsi salon because he wanted to go a different direction as a wellness coach.”

Excited with a new opportunity, the second W Salon location boasts a salon and spa for clients to use. There are commission and independent beauty professionals working at the site and offering products and lines by Kerastase, Kevin Murphy, and Skinceuticals. 

“I believe clients will feel welcome in our relaxed, yet upscale salon and spa,” says White. “We are currently shifting to a more clinical spa with the addition of a physician joining our team.”

White says family and friends have continued to support the W Salon as the business grows. 

“We want to help others succeed and grow to their highest potential in an environment where we all work together as a team and truly care for another,” says White. “We hope to continue to grow our team with beauty professionals who want to be a part of something great with a common vision for each other and our clients.”

The main mission at both W Salon locations is to put clients first and to always find opportunities to make those clients feel special. 

W Salon currently offers traditional hair services, hair extensions, keratin treatments, natural hair services, microblading, facials, nails, microblading, waxing, and soon, injectables, medical grade Skinceutical Peels, microneedling, and more. 

W Salon is located at 4792 Red Bank Expressway and 2324 Madison Road, both in Cincinnati.

You can learn more about W Salon at www.wsaloncincinnati.com. You can also follow along on Facebook

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Approximately 83 percent of Generation Z prefer to purchase skin care products that are made from  natural and organic ingredients, according to Stella Rising. This is not surprising given that even in hair care, people are opting for healthier alternatives such as coconut oil and jojoba oil to nourish their hair and scalp. This year, we will see more innovative skincare trends that are geared towards making our skin look amazing in a healthier and sustainable way.  
 
Vegan Beauty Is On The Rise 
 
Vegan beauty has been gaining traction in the beauty industry, and it seems that we will be seeing more of it this year. According to Mintel, veganism is one of the most popular lifestyle choices recently, which means that the demand for plant-based skin care brands will go up. These products are those that are made mostly from plants with little to no chemical additives included. Labels like cruelty-free and halal are just a few to watch out for when  reading reviews on beauty products
 
By-Product Beauty Works, Too 
 
Another skincare trend that we will be seeing more of this year is the  reduction of waste materials in creating skin care products. What this means is that any waste materials from other processes will still be repurposed. For example, discarded coffee grains are now being integrated into scrubs that can help revive dull looking skin. 
 
Even fruits and other plant-based products that weren’t sold can still be used for their nutritional content or for adding natural scents to serums, lotions, and the like. 
 
Smart-Tech Personalized Skincare 
 
This year, bespoke skincare will carve a niche of its own as personalized skin care routines are now done with the help of technology. Atolla is a good example of a skin care brand that uses data science as well as machine learning to come up with a customized skin care routine for its customers. Customers have the option to tweak their monthly products based on the progress on their skin’s condition after using them for a period of time.  
 
The beauty industry is shifting towards sustainability and technology this year. Aside from seeing more plant-based skin care, manufacturing companies are also reducing their waste by using by-products that are left behind. Bespoke beauty subscription boxes will make a splash as well as companies are aiming for a more personal approach to the consumer’s skin care needs. 

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Read about a local skin care clinic that helps increase the self-esteem of women and teens with acne and hyperpigmentation issues.

Pure Beauty Skin Bar is taking skin care to a new level in the Queen City. The clinic, owned by Sylvia Brownlee, specializes in the prevention and treatment of acne and hyperpigmentation. 

Brownlee, an esthetician and skin care expert says she was inspired to launch Pure Beauty Skin Bar from not only her experiences in the industry but also as part of her lifelong mission to help increase the self-esteem of women and teens with acne and hyperpigmentation issues. 

“All services offered at Pure Beauty Skin Bar are customized to each individual’s needs, so no treatment is the same,” says Brownlee. “However, the ultimate goal for everyone is clear, radiant skin.”

There is a full line of products and services available for all skin types at Pure Beauty Skin Bar. Services include acne detox treatments, brightening treatments for dark spots, sunspots, an age spots, LED therapy, microchanneling acne scarring, pure rejuvenation resurfacing treatment, custom polish microdermabrasion, and multi-masking. She says they also offer microcurrent facial repairs for damage skin to help stimulate collagen and dermaplaning facial to transform the texture of the skin.

Brownlee says the products carried at Pure Beauty Skin Bar is the vegan makeup line, including a mousse foundation with light to medium coverage. “We currently have 17 shades that won’t clog your pores and it looks like skin when applied,” she adds. “All of our products are vegan, cruelty-free, acne-safe, and non-pore clogging.”

Through her skin care clinic, Browlnee wants to offer her clients a unique approach to treating skin, how she stays in touch with clients, and how she makes clients feel every time they work with Pure Beauty Skin Bar.

In addition to working with their typical clients, Brownlee says she also loves helping brides get ready for their big day with the best skin possible.

Pure Beauty Skin Bar will celebrate its 5 year anniversary in June. In the meantime, they will continue to expand their makeup line and offer skincare services to clients.

To learn more about Pure Beauty Skin Bar, visit www.purebeautyskinbar.com. You can also follow along on Instagram and Facebook.

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Learn about a new program that gives back to select local charities as you enjoy luxurious spa services. Keep reading for all the details.

The group at The Spa at 21c in downtown Cincinnati is doing its part in giving back to the community. For 2020, they have set out on a mission to partner with local organizations each quarter of the year to build a better Cincinnati. 

According to Alli Bridgers, a PR rep for 21c, The Spa at 21c is working with Mission2Move, a non-profit that focuses on bringing movement and meditation to students via teacher professional development and school implementation for the first three months of the year. 

“That means, during the month of February, 10 percent of your spa service benefits Mission2Move,” she says. For Quarter 2 of 2020, The Spa at 21c is partnering with Our Daily Bread Soup Kitchen, which means during April, May, and June, the organization will receive a portion of proceeds from spa services. 

The donations for these local organizations come from specific spa services, which you can find online. 

To learn more about services and treatments available at The Spa at 21c, visit https://www.21cmuseumhotels.com/cincinnati/spa/spa-menu/. You can also book an appointment online or by calling 513-578-6660.

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Learn about a local skincare and eyelash studio with customized facials, waxing, sunless tanning, and eyelash enhancements.

Pure Skin by Elizabeth Ashley offers a wide variety of skin services that are fully customized to meet the needs and wants of clients. 

“We are a skin care and eyelash studio offering customized facials, waxing, sunless tanning, and a variety of eyelash enhancements such as extensions and tinting,” says founder and owner Elizabeth Crank. 

Crank’s inspiration for launching her own business comes from years of experience in the beauty and spa industry as an esthetician. 

“My love for skin care and cultivating relationships with my clients has been a life-long passion,” she says. “I have been so lucky to have worked in a variety of spa and skin care clinics, and have taken the best of everything I’ve learned to create the perfect space for my clients to relax, unwind, and allow me to help their pure beauty shine through.”

Crank says that she stands behind every product and service she offers, so much so that she named the business after herself.

Elizabeth Crank, Founder of Pure Skin by Elizabeth Ashley. Photo: Emma McMahan Photography

“There is no better feeling than when my clients open their eyes after a service and love the person looking back at them in the mirror,” she says. “Hearing my clients say, ‘I love the way I look,’ is the greatest feeling. I know I’m using my talents and gifts to give them what they deserve, to love the skin they’re in.”

All services offered at Pure Skin by Elizabeth Ashley are customized based on clients and their skin care goals – from anti-aging to acne. 

“Since becoming certified in eyelash extensions, I have seen women’s self-confidence flourish,” she says. “It’s definitely the most instantly gratifying service for both me and my clients.”

Crank says she sees clients from a variety of groups including young girls, stay-at-home moms, and wildly successful working women. “My goal is to provide lashes that are noticeable, but natural,” she says. “A look that allows women to feel comfortable and confident with very little effort, no matter who they are or where they come from.”

Crank’s business is 10 years in the making, and she’s proud to offer clients something that can help their skin become healthier while they feel better about themselves. 

She says her business is everything she loves and appreciates about skin care in a studio space that feels like home. “I want my clients to walk into my studio and instantly feel comfortable and relaxed,” she says. “I want them to leave the worries and stress of their busy lives at the door and allow me to help them feel their best. I’m a good listener, lover of laughter, and passionate about helping them feel like the best versions of themselves.”

As the year moves along, Crank says she will offer a new service called Brow Lamination. “Brow lamination is a great alternative to microblading, which has been a very popular treatment,” she says. “Brow lamination gives your eyebrows a set, uniform shape that can make them look fuller. It’s much less invasive, and much less painful than microblading. I am so excited to offer this treatment.”

Pure Skin by Elizabeth Ashley is located at 7577 Central Parke Blvd. Suite 217 in Mason. To learn more, follow along on Facebook and Instagram.

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See how a local beauty studio helps men and women feel confident and comfortable through healthy initiatives, products and services.


Whether you’re looking for an organic facial or a mental rejuvenation Beard and Beauty Spa is here to help.

“Beard and Beauty Spa is a health and wellness facility for individuals who are in need of a place that offers physical and mental rejuvenation,” explains owner Jennifer Holifield. “We provide customized organic facials, airbrush tan, permanent makeup, eyelash extension, and eyelash lifting along with retail aftercare products.”

Holifield says that she was inspired to open her own beauty business because she wanted to follow through with her own vision to offer a place where men and women could rebuild their confidence and peace through healthy initiatives, products, and services. 

Beard and Beauty Spa, Holifield says, is unique in many ways. “We specialize in all of our services,” she adds. “We have a unique beard treatment that no one is providing in Cincinnati.”

While the business continues to build in 2020, Holifield says that she’s aiming to collaborate with other organizations in the city to help give back to the community.

Beard and Beauty Spa is located at 4016 Allston Street, Suite 3, in Cincinnati.

Beard and Beauty Spa is currently building its website and Holifield says she expects it to be up and running in the next 2 to 3 weeks. To learn more about Beard and Beauty Spa, check out their website or follow along on Facebook and Instagram

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