The Go-Getter: BEACH Cosmetics' Leanna Tallmeister
Leanna Tallmeister wears many hats; she is an actress, a makeup artists, a cosmetic developer—the list goes on and on. Oh and she founded BEACH Cosmetics, an extraordinarily company that was created "with beauty, the beach, mermaids, and kindness in mind". Talk about an impressive portfolio!
Well, we penciled in a chat with her the other day...
When did your obsession with beauty begin?
I remember being fascinated with both my mom and my aunt's beauty collections at a really young age, maybe three or four years old. All through childhood I was so intrigued with formulations and textures. I remember locking myself up in the bathroom and mixing up various bath products.
My favourite was mixing baby powder with water in the sink and creating a "face mask". I also remember squeezing various shampoos and conditioners and lotions out, blending them all up as new concoctions, pouring them into travel-sized bottles, and pretending they were my own new line of products.
I would go on the computer and print out "labels" and stick them on the bottles with clear tape, and then my friend and I would dress up in my mom's most glamorous clothing and take photos as "models" for the line. It was all just for fun but I really took it so seriously. I would even act out in my room that I was selling them on Home Shopping Network!
How long did it take you to develop your first product? What was that process like? Fun? Frustrating? A bit of both?
I started my line by experimenting with formulations for body scrubs. It was time-consuming but truly enjoyable. I did a lot of test batches to have friends and family try out. But my first "commercially successful" hair product in the line was Mellow Out.
It's a marshmallow root-based leave-in conditioner and de-tangler that actually smells like marshmallows. It was honestly so much fun to create. I loved the entire process. It took a long time to perfect, though. I went through batches and batches before I finally figured out a way to render the cream in the formula smooth, not chunky. There's so much science to account for in cosmetic development. That part is always frustrating.
But, because I was so passionate about the product and believed in it so much, I actually found it all enjoyable. What's more frustrating is trying to brush my hair without this product! I created Mellow Out because I couldn't find a heavy-duty product that would detangle my unruly hair and also treat it long-term. Most detanglers are filled with alcohols and filler ingredients, which I found would do the detangling part, but then leave my hair dry and brittle in the long run.
My youngest sister also has really thick, tightly curled hair, and I was always in charge of helping her brush it after her baths when she was a toddler. We went through hell trying to comb those knots! As adults, both of us struggle to find products that truly work and Mellow Out has truly changed the game.
We love that you are so committed to putting "kindness and beauty before all else". Was there a specific moment when you decided to stick with this lovely philosophy?
I love that you love it too! I don't know if there was a specific moment. It was always a non-negotiable for me that anything I create be cruelty-free and be formulated with ethically-sourced ingredients. I think in the past, organic beauty was a bit separated from technology.
Thus, natural products garnered a bit of a reputation for being bland or boring, or as being unable to perform as well as products from larger beauty brands that still utilized synthetics. But things have changed, especially with many of those larger beauty brands now making a conscious tilt towards natural formulations. With today's achievements in technology and research, there are just so many incredible natural ways to create beauty products that really work.
I just couldn't justify doing it any other way. I love the ocean, I love nature, and I love people. That's why all of my products are made with ethically-sourced ingredients and all packaging is 100% recyclable and reusable. And it's all tested on volunteering friends and family, not animals! Above everything- they need to be kindly created and WORK. Powerfully. Nothing less.
Hypothetical ultimatum time! Would you rather give up your haircare or your skincare product collection?
That is so tough. You can't make me choose between those! Can clothing be an option? I'd sooner give that up!
Anything else you'd like to add?
I love learning about other independent brands. Each creator has their own story that is reflected in the products they create. It's like a profile of who they are. There is room for all of us. Keep sharing that individuality. Keep making unique products and filling gaps in the current market. We are going to transform the beauty industry together!
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