Staying Clean While Getting A Lil’ Dirty:
Shen Beauty Founder Jessica Richards talks about keeping a clean routine during those sweet summertime getaways
At HATCH we don’t believe in making compromises while pregnant. You can still feel nurtured by a crave-worthy Belly Oil, sexy in a flattering bikini and proud to rock that bump in chic evening wear at your bestie’s wedding. This POV also applies to taking adventures with friends + family, just as long as you have Shen Beauty’s oh-so-fabulous bug spray in your tote bag. With that spirit in mind, we tapped Shen founder Jessica Richards to tell all about staying clean while getting a little dirty.
What led you to go clean + non-toxic with your own beauty routine?
I was raised in California by a mother who was a personal trainer and health fanatic. At the time, I didn’t think it was so great only being allowed to take a turkey sandwich on whole wheat bread with sprouts to school while my friends had McDonald’s, but a great side effect has been the clean lifestyle it has instilled in me throughout my life. As well as diet, she was progressive on the skincare side — always slathering coconut oil on her body as a moisturizer and using organic jojoba oil from the health food store in lieu of expensive (and what we now know as toxic) beauty brands. Though I can’t say I only use natural, non-toxic products 100% of the time (as sometimes my skin needs a jolt of chemicals to get it back into my ideal state of perfection…no breakouts!), I do focus my routine on clean and non-toxic products and really like to dig into each and every ingredient.
Tell us about why you launched Shen Beauty….
I launched Shen when I got pregnant and had just quit working as a stylist. I thought I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom, but in reality I’ve always had a very strong work ethic and wasn’t totally ready to slow down. A few months after I had my son, my face cream broke. I was living in Brooklyn and quickly realized that I had been going into the city to buy beauty products and there were literally NO beauty stores where I lived. So, I decided to open one myself. However, instead of selling what everyone else had on their shelves, I wanted to bring in all the European brands I had found over the years on my travels. Because of EU regulations, these brands were already clean and non-toxic and most were organic.
How do you pick the right products for Shen? What is your clean philosophy?
First things first — I’ve learned that people respond to aesthetically pleasing products and are more willing to shop clean beauty when it looks good on their countertop. So I have to say that packaging is the first thing I look at. Then, I take a deep dive into ingredients and efficacy. Once I’ve checked those boxes, I look more broadly to see if there is a story behind the brand and if the founder seems authentic and relatable — which is really important to both me and my customers. Finally, I look at how it fits into my current assortment. While Shen sells a variety of products and brands, having a highly curated environment is incredibly important for my customers as they rely on our streamlined recommendations.
What are your clean go-to’s to pack on an outdoor summertime getaway?
I grew up in California and am a beach girl at heart. So for a beach vacay, I feel like I always need a good bug spray. I wasn’t able to find a clean one that smelled nice, so we decided to create our own. Then, I focus on SPF. I LOVE EltaMD and although this brand is not organic, it is a 3 on ewg.org and so less toxic than others and it really works (meaning it actually protects my skin from UVA and UVB rays).
I also always pack a hair mask because the saltwater makes my blonde hair super dry. I love the Virtue Hair Mask as it packs in the necessary hydration that my hair lacks. I love putting it on at the beach after getting out of the ocean and then rinsing in the shower when I get home. I notice a HUGE difference.
Some other products I always bring to the beach are:
Before I hit the beach: I love the Dr. Barbara Sturm hydrating cream mixed with her glow drops and sun drops to add a nice glow with a bit of SPF protection.
For makeup: I’m not one for a lot of makeup really but I do love a good mascara. I usually throw in either eyeko, Kjaer Weiss or RMS.
Throughout the day: I love my Bronty Facial mist — the detox one is the best for hydrating at the beach after being exposed to all of that saltwater and sun.
For post-beach shower: I use the C & the Moon body scrub. It has a lovely summer scent and is extra hydrating.
For post-sun body moisture: I use the Costa Brazil Firming Body Oil. It’s totally organic, extra hydrating and leaves a bit of a sheen on my skin after getting a little sun, I look glowing.
For the summertime breakout: Sometimes I get a little zit or two in the summer when things are a bit warmer (and sweatier). So, I ALWAYS travel with my Amanda Lacey Miracle Tonic. It’s similar to a drying lotion, but you can’t see it and it’s more effective. I just stick a q-tip in and dab it on my pimple and the next morning it has literally disappeared. I have been using it for over 10 years and never leave home without it.