Bestselling author and optimist Simon Sinek says, “people don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.”
When it comes to beauty and skin care storytelling, this sounds about right, especially when thinking about the stories behind some of our most legendary skin care brands.
Who doesn’t love the story of Dame Anita Roddick, founder of The Body Shop? She was the first of us to combine a love of the natural world and travels into skin care products, turning environmental activism into more than 2,000 stores and millions of customers.
And what about Estée Lauder? She started out working in her father’s hardware store and took what she learned, combined it with her passion — merchandising, marketing and sales — and built a billion-dollar beauty legacy that continues to this day. The company also fuels entrepreneurial dreams like those of cult brand M.A.C. cosmetics and gives generously to medical science and the arts.
When she couldn’t find beauty products that met her needs, Madam CJ Walker, the daughter of slaves, used her ingenuity to innovate her way to becoming America’s first black female millionaire. As a leading philanthropist and social activist of her time, she blazed a path for all women entrepreneurs, especially women of color.
Each of these women in their own way made it possible for indie brands like Eu2Be to make the journey from passion to actual skin care products.
The Eu2Be story emerged from my intent to empower your personal care — and rather than pursuing a fountain of youth or cultivating some exotic, life-giving algae, I chose to formulate Eu2Be products with rare blends of skin-loving oils, proven legends trusted for generations.
Culturally-prized oils like Sunflower, Tamanu, Nangai, Babassu, Maracuja and Mango Seed Butter not only clean, nourish and protect your skin, they place an essential personal care tool in the hands of its users: Agency.
Agency in its truest sense is “why” I created Eu2Be, and this “why” is realized when you have agency to nurture healthy, beautiful skin that feels — and visibly appears to be — moisturized and cared for.
With such high-quality, high-performing ingredients, I didn’t need to add anything superficial, like silicones, dyes or drying alcohols. Instead, I went straight for wholesome, natural skin care ingredients with rich essential fatty acids and skin nutrients.
Even though our customer focus groups across the country said they wanted more fragrance in our products, it was the legacy of my personal story that guided me to follow my instincts in keeping Eu2Be formulas free of superficial ingredients and focused on maximum hydrating effects.
I believe that it’s product feel and function that put our best skin stories forward, not fragrances or trendy ingredients.
And I like to think that every day, each of us faces the world with a desire to live our best story, but this can be difficult because of the stories society projects on diverse skin types, like mature skin or like me, brown or dark skin.
It’s hard enough living out the myriad stories that already run through us — especially the negative ones we’re trying to overcome that are put upon us — yet stories are powerful, and they affect our thinking.
But living in healthy, beautiful skin gives us agency to define our story — and highlights how much personal care products like soap and lotion matter in our everyday skin care practices.
Even against the backdrop of celebrity, fame and influencers, I still hold fast to the stories and lessons of Lauder, Rodderick and Walker — that it’s not about projecting my personal story onto you, but letting you compose your own story to give ‘Eu’ the power ‘2Be’ who you want to be.
So, make your skin story a great one — the world is watching and waiting to read all about it!
Art Credit: Tarsila do Amaral's "Inventing Modern Art in Brazil” at New York’s Museum of Modern Art.