It’s time to think about beauty differently – from the inside out. We caught up with Alexis Wolfer, founder of the TheBeautyBean.com, and author of The Recipe for Radiance to get the dish on her innovative DIY beauty recipes.
Miss Fake It ‘Til You Make It (MFITYMI): How did you come up with this concept?
Alexis Wolfer (AW): It’s a culmination of all of my interests. I have my masters in human rights and woman’s studies and have also gone to the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. While I was in graduate school at Columbia University, I wrote my thesis on women’s magazines and their influence on body image and eating disorders – something I have struggled with in my past – and it was there that I understood the power of food for beauty. As I say in the book, you are what you eat, and you don’t want to be sugar free Jello.
MFITYMI: That’s quite a mental image, so what do you want to be?
AW: You want to be great, healthy, delicious ingredients. I think so many women, on the pursuit of being thin, end up being counter to that entire initiative and end up looking worse than before they started. I saw so profoundly how what I ate affected my hair and skin, which is where the whole eat-side of this came into play. The apply-side was after leaving Columbia, I started the theBeautyBean.com, an online women’s magazine that covers beauty in an empowering, holistic way, and the idea was to subtly prevent eating disorders in young women.
MFITYMI: So, what did you do?
AW: I started playing with a lot of DIY remedies all on my own for fun. I used my nutrition background to dig deeper into how these ingredients are working topically, as well as internally. I was experimenting a lot on my own, and then, I started asking celebrities in interviews for their DIY beauty remedies because I found my readers really enjoyed learning about that.
MFITYMI: How did those Hollywood starlets further your interest?
AW: I was always so surprised at how quickly all of these women had tips that not only came to mind, but that they were using on a regular basis. These were women who had access to all of the latest and greatest products in the world, and they were choosing to go to their kitchens when they had a zit. There was something really cool about that, so I decided to learn more and do more with it.
MFITYMI: Share with us some of your top tips…
AW: One of my quick tips, is having full-fat Greek yogurt in your refrigerator. I think it is an amazing spot treatment for pimples, as well as great for an overall resurfacing mask. It’s really rich in lactic acid, which is great for dissolving that upper layer of dull skin cells that are clogging your pores. It also has probiotics, which balances the skin, and contains fat which is moisturizing without clogging pores. This combination is important because so many of the acne products currently on the market, treat pimples by turning skin into the Sahara Desert. Then your body thinks “we are dry,” so it begins producing all this sebum to make it less dry, which causes the pore to get clogged triggering a cycle that leaves you worse off than when you started.
MFITYMI: that’s a great tip, what’s another one of your faves?
AW: I also love using coconut oil to remove eye makeup. I’ve never used anything that emulsifies waterproof eye makeup better than coconut oil. You just put a tiny bit on your fingers, close your eyes, and gently massage around the delicate eye area. Then use a cotton pad to rub off the remaining oil, and repeat until the cotton pad rubs off clean.
MFITYMI: sounds cool, how does it work?
AW: the coconut oil contains Lauric Acid, which helps to gently exfoliate under the eyes – you know, that area that never gets much attention. It’s important to get rid of those dead skin cells, or you get those white bumps that often occur after using eye cream. Coconut oil is antibacterial and antimicrobial, so it won’t allow your skin to break out.
MFITYMI: who would benefit the most from your book?
AW: the beauty of this book is that everyone can do it. It is so affordable and you can make it using ingredients you likely already have in your kitchen. The ultimate women’s empowerment is really doing it all yourself. What I love about DIY is that you are able to work with really potent ingredients that are more powerful than the ingredients you are getting on store shelves.
MFITYMI: that’s a great concept. To inspire our readers a little more, when was a time you had to fake it ‘til you make it?
AW: Being a young, female entrepreneur I decided to go into an online business, but I knew nothing about the web world. My background was in print editorial, however, I knew I wanted to start the BeautyBean.com. I got a job at StyleCaster.com when they first launched, as one of their first beauty editors. At first I was like, ‘I know nothing about this,’ but then I decided to give it a shot. I think there’s a lot to owning your worth, even if you are not 100% sure what that worth is.