Redefining Beauty

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Paul Coelho once wrote, “We must never stop dreaming. Dreams provide nourishment for the soul, just as a meal does for the body.” And it’s a funny thing, to speak of dreams as nourishment, as if the very fireworks that ignite our soul are also the morsels that feed our hungers, full of flavor and fullness and health. And when I think of dreams in this way, I think of a man named Nikos Mouyiaris.

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Nikos is a world-renowned veteran in the beauty industry, entrepreneur and philanthropist and has provided the framework for many of today’s most coveted beauty brands. He’s worked tirelessly, year after year, marrying a background in chemistry with a passion for business, developing and inventing and forecasting the products that exist on bathroom shelves and in glove compartments and Dopp kits.

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And then, something shifted. Nikos stopped creating beauty products – and started creating beauty.

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What came next was We See Beauty, the first-for-benefit social enterprise in the beauty industry to date. (1/3 of every sale goes toward the foundation’s mission to support cooperatives and raise, shape and mold local entrepreneurs. The first cooperative is slated to be built in Brooklyn later this year.) But it’s not just a business model.

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For Nikos and his daughter (creative director Ariana Mouyiaris), it’s a dream. It’s a passion, a multi-disciplinary playground for beauty and art and goodness. Every product is socially or aesthetically-minded and personally selected – from South American scarves to cooperative-made products to inspiring reads, many displayed on a separate element of the site they title Visions: a “portal for contemporary visions of beauty.” Indeed, Nikos and Ariana are changing the way beauty is seen with each vision they share – nourishing their dreams to nourish our own.

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It reminds me of The Silence Room – another treasured example of a brand that illustrates their beliefs, weaving a lifestyle of core values and narratives, rather than releasing and re-packaging an endless stream of product launches. In a sense, it’s precisely what a beauty company should be. The development of beauty products, sure, but also the sharing of beautiful ideas and discoveries and dreams. Beautiful inside and out, as my mother would say.

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And perhaps that’s where the nourishment truly comes alive. Just as lackluster skin might point to a vitamin deficiency, a dull mind might reveal a weakened spirit. A restless soul. An unfulfilled dream.

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Ariana touched on this when I asked her a few questions about her mission. “Fill your life with things that resonate with you and challenge yourself to ask questions; to try to live better, even with less, but taking pleasure in the details,” she writes. “For me, it’s often through finding nourishment, not just what tastes good, in food and in life.”

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And, I think, in dreams.

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Image Credits: We See Beauty

 p.s. Just for fun: Last year’s white eyebrow beauty trend!

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