When Mariah Carey wants her face to look natural and glowing, she reaches out to Stephanie Flor for beauty. When The Talk host, Eve, wants a face beat, she calls Stephanie Flor. And when iconic rock legend, Sting is featured in a magazine, he beckons for none other than Stephanie Flor to make him a vision of awesomeness.
Why is Stephanie Flor one of the most sought-after makeup artist in the industry? There are a few answers to that but most certainly her extensive knowledge of natural and indigenous beauty regimen takes her expertise to the top tier.
Stephanie doesn’t limit her beauty to name brands, she literally travels all over the world to uncover beauty regimens that not only enhance beauty but have been known to give spiritual protection, heighten natural beauty, and repair damaged skin with ingredients straight from Mother Nature. “From my travels around the world, I have been introduced to so many products and ingredients that have changed my life. I no longer look at big brands for my beauty needs, I live off the remedies of women that still use these ancient and traditional ways of beauty in their everyday life,” she explains.
From the mountains of Machu Picchu in South America to the rich cultural and spiritual land of India, Stephanie documents all of her beauty education on her blog, Around the World Beauty. She also shares beauty secrets and interviews from some the best in the industry on her podcast, Journey to Beauty.
As a media-crowned #beautytraveler, Stephanie unselfishly chooses to share her knowledge with her readers and listeners expressing she feels that every opportunity she has to travel to a country, where others can only dream to go, she is connecting them to the land of their ancestors, and their tribe’s traditions.
We had the pleasure of speaking with Stephanie as she shared her natural beauty learnings and how you can get into the world of beauty while protecting our planet.
“I live off the remedies of women that still use these ancient and traditional ways of beauty in their everyday life.”
Econistas: In all of the places you have traveled what eco-friendly products or ingredients do you recommend?
Stephanie Flor: Some of my favorite brands that I’ve found globally are:
- Aggi Beauty, a company based in Ecuador that is moving the natural beauty movement forward in South America.
- Feather & Bone is a portable face wash tablet that is used to cleanse the skin using ingredients like turmeric and all natural skincare.
- Loli Beauty is my current obsession. They source all their ingredients are eco-friendly and as raw as possible. They are creating a shift in beauty and asking women to return to their blending. Packaging is recyclable and biodegradable.
- Shankara is an Indian Ayurveda beauty skincare line that is changing the world of conscious beauty. I love using the moisturizer infused with borage oil and ylang ylang. My skin is hydrated and naturally glowing.
- The best ingredients that I found globally are
Econistas: What is the most natural or organic beauty ritual you’ve seen used?
Stephanie Flor: I’ve used achiote in the Amazon as lipstick and as a way to beautify during ceremonies. As a makeup artists, I live for color and on our treks to Machu Pichu, ” Sacred Lands for the Incas” we came across a tree in the jungle that has seeds filled with a vibrant red color that gave me so much inspiration. To know that my ancestors have used color as a symbol of protection and also beauty reminds me that the art of face paint is part of our history.
India is one of my favorite places to create natural beauty there are a lot of organic and natural rituals on the land that have elements of spirituality and beauty. Kajal, or kohl, is a deep black powder that has been used for centuries. It is used to create kajal for Haldi ceremonies for the bride.
The ancient Egyptians used it to adorn the eyes and protect them from the harsh rays of the sun. It has also been used as an ointment for eye infections, and it is also applied to infants as a protecting agent to ward off evil spirits. Kajal has transcended from a purely medicinal product to also become a cosmetic staple of Indian Beauty. In India, Kajal is used as an eyeliner to thickly line the eyes, making them stand out beautifully. It creates a dramatic, goddess-like beauty. The methods of making it all vary, but it is essentially a soot that is made from burning natural oils. In India, it is made by burning a muslin cloth in ghee within a brass vessel and collecting the soot residue.
The Haldi Ceremony is where a paste of haldi (turmeric, water, oil) is applied to the bride by her closest friends. Known for its properties in cleansing, purifying, and protecting against evil spirits, it is a blessing as well as a moisturizing facial.
Our friends also shared their astrological belief of the ritual: Turmeric is yellow, the color of Jupiter. Since Jupiter is the planet of marriage, this ceremony is conducted outside to attract the energy of the planet and to further bless the marriage. Not everyone shares the astrological belief, but Hindus agree that turmeric is known to give skin a glow to beautify the bride.
Econistas: What 5 organic or natural beauty ritual do you recommend and why?
Stephanie Flor : Singo – A week before a Zanzibari girl marries, she will undergo a daily “singo” of the skin. A natural scrub is prepared from the flowers of fresh jasmine, ylang ylang, and roses along with sandalwood mixed with rose water. The bride-to-be then lies on a traditional mat called a mkeka and is scrubbed continuously for several days until her skin is soft and glowing.
- Henna/Mendi- The use of Mehendi, or henna, dates back over 5,000 years when the henna dye was used to stain the fingers and toes of the Pharaohs before mummification, and it is now seen mostly in Indian culture. Mehendi is applied to the bride-to-be during the Mehendi Ceremony usually the night before the wedding, often accompanied with singing and dancing. Henna is also used outside of weddings for other ceremonies, rituals, and daily wear. It is a temporary form of body art lasting 1-2 weeks. It is used to adorn palms and feet with delicate and intricate ethnic motifs, in styles and forms specific to each region.
- Sugaring- it’s a middle eastern technique to remove body hair. The ancient Egyptians and Persians would use this method in the BC Era. Its painless and doesn’t stick to the skin.
- Charcoal- charcoal is amazing to use on the skin and as a toothpaste. I’ll use a little mixed with water to pull out toxins from the skin and when I have breakouts. Terra and Co. created an incredible toothpaste that uses charcoal as the main ingredient to remove plaque but supports the body in functioning on its highest purpose.
- Boxwood Hair Brushes- These hair brushes have been loved by Japanese women for centuries. Made by skilled artisans, the brush bristles are made of tsuge (boxwood) to offer your strands a frizz-free finish and a natural gloss, which the Japanese women are known for. In India, they use combs that are infused with neem oil which also helps the hair grow stronger and faster. It also moves the oils from the scalp to the ends making the hair appear healthier and improves the shine.
Photos Courtesy of Around the World Beauty
Econistas: Is organic or eco-friendly beauty exclusive to what you put on your skin?
Stephanie Flor: Being organic and eco-friendly is all about awareness of all elements in your life. It’s about your carbon footprint and the impact a product/ ingredient has on the place it’s being created and found. For example, there’s a movement of using ingredients in beauty, similarly to the way we use ingredients in the kitchen. You’ll find a wave of beauty trends now incorporating raw ingredients in products. Loli beauty [ the online, direct-to-consumer beauty brand allowing customers to customize their own clean beauty products using natural and organic ingredients. It stands for ‘Living Organic Loving Ingredients’] is doing a great job of sharing at-home recipes that only need a blender.
I just love the idea of women using ancient old remedies to get their beauty needs without having to buy products that aren’t great for the planet and not making a difference. Aveda and The Body Shop do a great job at creating conscious products that are also eco-friendly in their packaging and sourcing.
Econistas: What does being an Econista mean to you?
Stephanie Flor: When it comes to being an Econista, it’s all about awareness. For example. I spent a few months living in the Amazon. I remember shaving my legs in a river and then getting negative responses on social media about how I was contaminating the water in the Amazon. My instant go-to was being upset but instead, I did my research looked at the ingredients and decided never to do it again. I don’t have to be in the jungle to understand that what I use or how I live every day has an impact as a whole to our planet. We are all connected and it’s all about awareness and making small changes. Having worked in the beauty industry for so long, I now want to create something special that focuses on not only outer beauty but the enrichment of the person and planet as a whole. I see mostly with my eyes closed (with my heart). That’s my favorite part of being a conscious Econista.