Natural works for Tata Harper
Beauty expert Tata Harper has been in Hawaii celebrating her birthday, and made a trip to Neiman Marcus July 30 to host a skin-care master class, utilizing the all-natural products handmade on her Vermont farm.
I was running a bit late that morning, but still managed to put a face on, only to find we were starting the session with a good face cleansing. We began with Tata Harper's Nourishing Oil Cleanser, that went on silky smooth and washed off easily with a damp sponge, taking my makeup job with it. To familiarize ourselves with the products, we were also able to try her exfoliating Regenerating Cleanser, detox-oriented Purifying Cleanser, and for sensitive skin and rosacea, Refreshing Cleanser.
There's an idea that's hard to shake, that "natural" cannot be as effective as industrialized ingredients. One of my friends once said that in the war against wrinkles, "Give me chemicals." But in my experience, Tata Harper's products are much more effective than most brands I've tried, that take a more traditional approach to creating skincare products.
I've interviewed Harper many times, and her origin story is that she began questioning the many household and beauty chemicals we use every day after her father-in-law became sick from cancer. What she learned horrified her, because many of the ingredients used in beauty products are also used in automotive and industrial products. "How can that be beautifying?" she asks, and started studying and learning, changing her family's lifestyle in the process, so that her father-in-law became a cancer survivor.
In speaking to industry chemists, she also learned that, for marketing purposes, most beauty products utilize only one or two active ingredients, whether hyularonic acid or vitamin C. Beyond that ingredient that sells the product, the rest is filler.
As an industry outsider, she wasn't afraid to question the norm, and to challenge that idea, saying that for the money, she wanted customers to have effective products packed with benefits. In following through, her products contain 20 to 28 active ingredients. She sources her botanical ingredients internationally, but makes the products in small batches on her farm for quality control.
Tata Harper products have certifications few brands can match, including being recognized as 100 percent Vermont Made, certified cruelty free by the Leaping Bunny Association, EcoCert-certified by the globally recognized sustainable accreditation body, and certified 100 percent vegetarian by the American Vegetarian Association.
For those who dismiss tree-hugger philosophies over results, Harper is a walking testament for her brand. She needs no foundation because her skin has a natural glow just from using her own creations.
Nadine Kam is Style Editor and staff restaurant critic at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser; her food coverage in print in Wednesday's Crave section. Contact her via email at email@example.com and follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Rebel Mouse.