Welcome back to Behind the Beauty, where you get a behind the scenes look into the most luxury green beauty brands on the market. Today, we're chatting with Meryl Marshall, founder of Hynt Beauty, our newest makeup line that puts pure ingredients and high-performing color at the top of their priority list when it comes to color cosmetics. We can't get enough of the color-dense shadows, lip colors and blushes, as well as the skin-enhancing foundations and award-winning concealer. Read on for Meryl's story and a great gift from Hynt when you purchase anything from the line this month!

What's Hynt's orgin story?

I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004. After my surgeries and treatment, I started to question many things such as the food I eat, cleaning products and products I use on my body. I did extensive research and realized that many of the products that I was using were potentially harmful to myself and my family.

I started to make small changes and eventually transitioned to a healthier lifestyle which included scrutinizing the products out on the market. I was able to find healthier makeup, but it was extremely difficult to find the textures and colors that I was accustomed to in feminine, upscale packaging. Clinical white and wood may connote green beauty, but it is not appealing to me.

I wanted to create a brand that expresses the message of ‘trust and love’…a brand that can be relied on to exude professional quality, gorgeous, sexy packaging and adhere to a strict blacklist of ingredients that are unacceptable in the formulations. An affordable brand that could be used with confidence was important to me as well.

Do you have a favorite product from the line?

It’s so difficult to choose a favorite product, as I use and love all of them. Currently, I am enjoying our brand new Aria Pure lipsticks. While some women love shoes, I love lipstick. It just transforms my face and gives me a polished appearance.

They are vegan, creamy and long lasting. The lipstick tube has a hidden mirror which was always something that I thought would be ingenious when I am carrying a small evening bag for a discreet application, especially after a meal.

I worked for months, hand in hand, with our formulator with my wishlist as well as blacklist by my side. I hand-picked the Ecocert ingredients. This lipstick is pure and highly organic. Four of the colors do not have dyes. One color, our Aria Red Fervor lipstick is a true, real red that is additionally colored with a tiny bit of red dye. This special lipstick is for those times that we want to splurge on the real deal. There is nothing like a true fancy red to complete your perfect outfit. I look forward to expanding the line by adding more Aria Pure lipstick shades.

What makes you feel beautiful?

I feel beautiful when I am well-groomed and present myself nicely in what I am wearing. Chipped nail polish, an over worn handbag or shoes, frayed clothing, dirty hair says to my family, friends and business peers that I don’t care much about myself or others for that matter. It’s all about self-respect which translates to confidence.

It is important to me that I look ‘together.’ It spurs self-confidence and appeals to others. It says that I care about myself. It does not mean designer goods either. I can put together a great outfit on a shoestring. It can easily be an outfit beginning with a nice pair of jeans… it’s all in the details.

What’s interesting is that I do not spend that much time getting all of these details together. I dislike shopping; it’s a mood thing. I don’t have a large wardrobe but I aspire to collect mix and match separates. I always have outfits that are clean and pressed with the accompanying accessories so I don’t allow myself to get stressed about what I am going to wear when an event pops up.

What's the most challenging thing about being a small business owner?

The most challenging things that I experience about being a small business owner are quite a few I’m afraid. Mainly, the extraordinary amount of time in my life that is devoted to the business is challenging. While there are times I would like to join my friends for lunch or a movie, I often pass up the opportunity.

Even a short weekend vacation with my husband rarely happens because we find ourselves working a few hours over the weekend to keep on top of things, as we have a small staff to delegate to. Even though the business is my passion to share healthier choices in cosmetics, I have to stay motivated and keep stress to a minimum.

I always try to remember to do nice things for myself like go for a walk, take a relaxing bath, go to the gym; these are some things that energize and recharge me.

What passions do you have outside working on your line?

I love to spend time with my family. Craig and I have three sons that are on their own now, but we try to get together regularly and spend time together.

I enjoy going to the gym and working out to keep fit. I enjoy cooking and baking healthy foods. I love to read and participate in a book club. I enjoy the social aspect, as well as the book discussion.

Additionally, I enjoy going to Broadway shows in NYC and entertaining small gatherings at our home with delicious food, drink and friendship.

What has changed most in the green beauty industry since you started Hynt?

There are many more green beauty options available on the market. Their accessibility is still primarily obtained via e-commerce sites in lieu of department and big beauty box stores. A few major retailers are realizing that green beauty is not going away and the demand is growing so they have added an entire aisle dedicated to more green products. Consumers still have to read labels and know what they are looking at.

I enjoy supporting other brands and there are quite a few products that I love and use. Information about hazard ratings are more readily available and I believe that the visibility will increase in the future.

Any secret uses of your products that we should know about?

Our award-winning Duet Perfecting Concealer is a holy grail product for many. It is a versatile product. I use it as an eyeshadow base. It can be used as a contour product. I mainly use the Medium shade but I use the Light and Dark to contour when I am wearing a full face of makeup for parties, let’s say. It can be mixed with moisturizer to convert it to tinted moisturizer or boost the coverage for a liquid foundation.

Lumiere Radiance Boosting Powder may be mixed with a body lotion or cream and applied onto your legs, shoulders, anywhere for that touch of luminescence. I mix it with a bit of our Skin Prep and use it as a strobing technique especially at the top of the cheekbone below the outer corner of the eye. Multi-tasking products save money and lessen the clutter in your makeup bag. A win-win.

How can we be more conscious consumers to affect change in the beauty industry?

Many people I know think that products are safe because they assume that it wouldn’t be on the market if it wasn’t safe. Unfortunately, they are not aware that the EU has banned 1,100 chemicals in cosmetics; the FDA in America has banned only 10.

We can be more conscious consumers by educating ourselves and using our buying power by selecting products with lower hazard ratings by the Environmental Working Groups’ Skin Deep. Many products from smaller companies are not listed; however, it is very easy to calculate a rating by using their ‘Build Your Own Report.’

My bet is as the phone app, Think Dirty, becomes more popular and grows, and it will change how a growing population chooses what goes into their shopping cart. All the consumer has to do is scan the barcode and up pops the 1 to 10, 10 being the highest hazard rating. From what I understand, both EWG and Think Dirty are short staffed and underfunded, being the reason why there are many companies not listed yet.

Prices will definitely be reduced on the green beauty products once the smaller companies grow stronger. The costs of ingredients and packaging will ultimately be reduced when they are purchased in larger quantities. Then more of the larger retailers will take notice and expand their offerings just as many have in natural and organic foods.

What do you do when you feel overwhelmed or burned out?

I generally need a change of scenery, a walk by the beach, weather permitting, visit a friend or relative and stay overnight. My husband, Craig and I went on a weeklong cruise this summer. August is generally a slow month. We so needed that break before the start of the busy season. We napped and ate well, saw some terrific shows. It is also important for a marriage/relationship to have that alone time with one another especially a couple that works together.

How do you live with intention and purpose?

I have my morals and believe in doing what is right. I have had quite a number of difficult challenges in my life, but I chose not to dwell or let those events define me. For example, I grew up in a family that had an abundance of love and, I saw my parents struggle financially. I never felt that I was missing out on anything, never demanded anything and we made do with what we had.

Years later, when financial security came, gained by working very hard and living within my means, I never took anything for granted and I so appreciate all the goodness that I have in my life. My glass is half full, not half empty. I always look to help others to the best of my ability and pay it forward.

My past challenges have taught me to have strength to deal with things and I push ahead, try to solve and move forward.

Why is it important for us to be concerned about what we’re putting on our skin?

I am not a chemist. I read all the time and try to make sense of all of the research out there. There are so many disparities in the reports and professionals’ opinions. I think that it is important to be realistic. Not everything we touch or put on our skin is fully absorbed into our bodies.

Our bodies are designed to filter and dispose of what does not belong by excretion. The real question here is how well our bodies do this and what is left behind? The focus of my concern is the daily layering of toxic chemicals in our products.

According to my research, the nasty chemicals can convert into another chemical form, be metabolized or perhaps the scariest, accumulate. The bottom line for me: Why do it? Why use products that have a big question mark on them? Why take the risk when there are perfectly good alternatives that can be used with a greater level of confidence? It just makes commons sense to me.

Thanks for sharing, Meryl! We love Hynt and it's incredibly pure, high-performing ingredients and we want you to take it for a test drive too! This month, with ANY Hynt Beauty purchase, you'll receive a FREE deluxe sample of Hynt's Stella Loose Eyeshadow in Seashell. It's a warm pink that's comparable to cult favorite NARS' Orgasm, and can be used on eyes or cheeks for a pop of flattering color. Just add any Hynt products to your cart and we'll do the rest!

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