Ingrid's interview with founder of La Bella Figura Victoria Fantauzzi
We are so excited for our upcoming launch of La Bella Figura. We were doubly thrilled when we found out we had the opportunity to do a Q and A with Natural Beauty Maven and La Bella Figura founder Victoria Fantauzzi.
Many of the ingredients you use are from exotic locations. How do you discover them and in turn what is the process like actually sourcing them and then incorporating them in your products?
We "discover" ingredients by reading science journals, agricultural journals and university articles. We study ingredients like we're college students and learn every little detail about an ingredient before considering sourcing it to try it out. Often times in our travels we learn about new things as was the case when I went to Peru last year. One of my tour guides in Cuzco and I began to chat about the local flora and he revealed that his grandfather who lived in the Amazon was a holistic healer and sourced special ingredients to cure people in his village. It was then I began to research an ingredient he shared with me and I was blown away by how unique and incredible it worked. I then had to find a producer who worked ethically in sourcing the product and also someone who would not dilute this healing ingredient in alcohol. I wanted the pure, virgin ingredient so I could study and work with it the way we do in our studio. Basically, we're like flea market scouters, except the entire planet is our market and flowers, roots, oils and plants are the treasures we bring home.
The scents of LBF products are very unique and intoxicating. Do you know what scent you are trying to create as you formulate a product or does it magically come together because of the high quality ingredients you combine?
Some of the ingredients we use have their own unique scent that are naturally incredible and some, not so incredible. Being real beauty lovers we try to create formulas that we would find pleasurable to use daily in a product and scent is a huge part of it. We work carefully to make sure every ingredient has a purpose in a formula and if its added bonus is that it smells amazing it makes us so happy.
You have launched a few new products lately. What does it take for you to feel that a new product is 'ready' to be released to the public?
A lot! It has to pass a few tests. The first being efficacy, which means both Karen and I need to use it for a few months to see if it works as we like, taking notes along the way. Then we actually test the formula, its acidity, mold growth factor, stability, etc. Then we test on a few trusted people that can give true objective feedback. Often times we readjust an ingredient or two and have to test the formula again. It can go on forever, but once we feel we have "The One" and we're happy that it's worked as we want it to, feels great on skin, smells good, and is perfect in texture, only then do we put our stamp on it and prepare to put it on the market.
You obviously visit some amazing locations around the world. How do you stay healthy (inside and out) while traveling?
This is the best part of our job getting to travel, but it's becoming more frequent and sometimes we're on a plane quite a bit. I get really plane crazy and always feel a little cagey on long flights so I create a great "on board" travel kit for myself. I always have our eye serum handy, Jardin de Fleurs Facial Mist, Barbary Fig Seed Oil is a lifesaver on long flights. I hydrate like a maniac prior to getting on a plane with coconut water and fresh juices and bring healthy snacks like cashews and dried cherries in a baggie. As soon as I land I hydrate with local fresh juices, take a long walk or get outside to move my limbs. I also eat plenty of good food and while I'm not a vegetarian I dedicate two days a week to eating vegan. It's easier to do at home, but also not that difficult while on the road. I just returned from Argentina and was surprised to find several vegetarian restaurants, fresh juice shops and natural grocery stores in Buenos Aires. This was my third trip to BA and the vegetarian interest is a new thing in a city where meat is king.
La Bella Figura literally translates to 'the beautiful figure'. But in the deeper meaning it's about looking for beauty in the rich layers of the soul. Many people have come to natural, organic beauty by not so beautiful roads, such as health issues and the scary realization of the not so healthy chemicals that are lurking in their skincare. Why was it important to you to name your company La Bella Figura? and how do you lead a beautiful life?
La Bella Figura to us meant being authentic and discovering beauty in the little things, which is what we do daily. We've created a seed-to-skin beauty line using our own virgin formulas that we are passionate about. We want our customers, both men and women to trust that we have their best beauty interest at heart because our line isn't just about being non-toxic, it's mostly about having the power to produce the best results in skincare with the added bonus of being pure.
I have to say that I do have a beautiful life and I'm grateful. I've always been so superstitious about saying it out loud, but I've realized I've worked hard for it and there is no shame in admitting it. I think a beautiful life entails surrounding yourself with good people and appreciating the value of time. Right now I am beyond the moon excited to spend a week in Mexico City this holiday with friends I adore and don't often get to see. It's such a special thing to wake up and have breakfast with the people you love and share moments, good conversations and incredible meals. These are the things that I feel enrich my life. It may not be so glamorous, but no one has ever had their life flashing before their eyes and saw a Chanel handbag, right? You see the faces of the people you love and I'm happy to love so many beautiful faces.