“Back in the day people didn’t know that smoking was bad, that the sun was bad. This is the next wave,” says Kirstie Lauren, founder of Beauty Gone Green.
This “next wave” is the revealing and research of harmful ingredients found in our daily skin and hair care products, and how these additives can negatively impact our health. While Beauty Gone Green is a bi-monthly “safe, non-toxic beauty discovery box,” her green goals extend well beyond makeup.
We jumped at the opportunity to interview the brains behind the box, Kirstie herself, on her inspirations, successes, and goals for the future of beauty, and the green movement in general.
“Why would you rub that on your body?”
Parabens, talc, lead, tocopheryl acetate, and formaldehyde are just a few of the chemicals you may find in your deodorant, shampoo, foundation, mascara, and even lipstick. How on earth did lead, a chemical removed from wall paint due to toxicity find its way into the products consumers apply to their bodies and faces daily?
Clever advertising and quite a bit of masking, insinuates Kirstie Lauren. Because the FDA does not currently mandate that cosmetics companies conduct safety tests for their products, they mask harmful ingredients under harmless monikers such as Kirstie’s personal least favorite: fragrance. “The main thing, first thing, number one huge important thing is fragrance. A lot of people assume that fragrance is something that just makes your products smell good, but what they don’t realize is that there are a thousand chemicals that can be hidden under ‘fragrance.’”
Kirstie, raised and inspired by her very health-conscious mother, realized that if companies were using weird chemicals and not testing their effects, their products had no business on her body. Once she decided to ditch those brands and products altogether, opting instead for brands which care about their ingredients and consumers’ wellbeing, she knew she had to tell the world that there was a better, healthier way.
A True Social Entrepreneur
With a passion for natural beauty, healthcare, and skincare products in conjunction with a passion for social media, Kirstie started The Goofy Mermaid, an Instagram account and now, website. “I point out fun facts because people’s attention can be small scrolling through a bunch of things. I also try to keep it positive because I feel like it creates a healthy community, which is kind of the opposite of what social media can be known for,” explains Kirstie.
It is Kirstie’s social media presence that led her to exclusive brand partnerships, and eventually entrepreneurship with her Beauty Gone Green subscription box. It all began with a powerful social media presence, and a passion for non-toxic beauty products. Kirstie started reaching out to brands that made some of her favorite products, and began reviewing and advocating for them across social media. Her viewership grew and grew, and she now has over 65,000 followers on Instagram alone.
It became apparent that people cared about her message, advocating for healthier options, but Kirstie noticed one rather pressing problem: good products with quality ingredients come with a higher price tag. “Nobody wants to spend all that money without trying something first. Beauty Gone Green allows people to try at a much lower price, and then get additional savings through the brands after sampling to purchase the full-size,” she explains.
Subscription Boxes, Redefined
Kirstie realizes that there are plenty of other monthly subscription beauty boxes on the market, which is why her company does things a little differently. “This is a bi-monthly subscription because if you’re getting face cream every month, you’re not going to need it.” Anyone who has subscribed to a monthly box of any sort can relate to the fact that product begins to stockpile, including Kirstie’s fiancé with his monthly sock subscription box.
The Beauty Gone Green founder also realizes that her box comes with a higher price tag than some of the competition, but stands by its value and offers incentives for purchasing in advance by offering lower prices to long-term subscribers. Each box is guaranteed to have over $200 worth of Goofy Mermaid-approved products in each box, a tremendous value given the quality of the products and the subscription price.
Month-to-month subscribers pay $39.50 each month for their bi-monthly box ($79 per box), but committing to a year brings the price down to $68 per box. Additionally, if a consumer loves a product in their box, they can purchase the full-size version through Beauty Gone Green at an exclusive discount.
Kirstie is all about authenticity, working solely brands which share her values. “I only work with companies that I believe in, and that my audience would believe in.” It’s not about the money or the profit, but it’s about educating people on how they can live healthier lifestyles. A few of her favorite beauty brands which make appearances in her subscription boxes include Bella Aura, Coola, Poesie, and Qet.
While she is proud to teach people how to recognize and avoid toxic ingredients in most store-bought products, she realizes that scrutinizing every label is easier said than done. Additionally, many consumers think that if a product is missing certain ingredients, it must be an ineffective product. Beauty Gone Green is crushing this marketplace misconception by taking the guesswork out of the equation, assuring consumers that every product in the box is free of harmful chemicals without sacrificing effectiveness.
Kirstie is branching out beyond beauty as well. “I just recently did a collaboration with Nissan on the NextGen Eco Leaf,” she explains. How does a Goofy Mermaid wind up test driving cars? “Yes, it’s mostly beauty, but it’s also branching out to other eco friendly products.” She believes that the movement of living a healthier, more eco lifestyle is so much more than just beauty products. She recognizes that her audience is interested in reducing their environmental impact in all of the facets of life.
A Greener, Brighter Future
Through her company and social media presence, Kirstie doesn’t ever plan on slowing down her efforts on inspiring the world to opt for healthier, greener options in everyday life. She had a passion and a platform and with just those components is making a positive impact while making money.
“My advice would be, find what you love and then share it and do something different than what everybody else is doing,” states Kirstie. “You are your biggest roadblock.” She overcame questioning if people would enjoy her posts and her topic and now is thriving as an eco-activist and entrepreneur. Kirstie aspires to continue to grow her brand and spread awareness with education on how men and women alike can ditch the chemicals and toxins by discovering more natural, effective products.