What Works: Lisa Price
One benefit of working in the beauty industry for so many years is that I've encountered dozens of smart, savvy professionals (beauty company CEOs, product development VPs, power publicists, colorists, stylists, makeup artists, etc.) who've tried thousands of products and treatments, and, thus, have uber-informed/effective beauty regimens. I've certainly swiped tips and recs from them—and now so can you. As part of a regular series, I’ll be asking inspiring, in-the-know women (all 40+, of course) to share their best tips and favorite products. The point? As always, to find out what works.
Today's beauty insider: Lisa Price, 54, founder of Carol's Daughter
In the early 1990s, Lisa used $100 and a small beauty lab (a.k.a. her tiny Brooklyn kitchen), to start Carol’s Daughter, a skin and hair line named for her mother. Her goal: to create efficacious, all-natural formulas before that was a “thing.” She spiked skin lotions and hair conditioners with essential oils and essences of real vanilla, mint and lemon. She diligently worked local flea markets, routinely selling-out of her homemade formulas and garnering celeb fans like Halle Berry, Rosie Perez and Jada Pinkett-Smith. Love Butter, Hair Milk and Lemon Mint Manicure became cult obsessions, and in the ensuing twenty years, Lisa grew that little kitchen collection into a multi-million-dollar business. Two years ago, all that hard work paid off when L’Oreal USA bought Carol's Daughter and helped to expand the brand's distribution to Target and Walgreen nationwide.
So, what made the line such a success? Lisa’s products are easy to love: they’re deeply-hydrating, purposely simple—and deliciously-scented. Also, because her formulas are more nourishing than aggressively-anti-aging, you can easily incorporate them into almost any regimen without risk of irritation; her skin products, in particular, help calm skin that's red and sore from Retin-A or in-office peels and lasering.
Lisa herself also chooses a more nourishing than aggressive approach to aging. “When someone asks how old I am, I don’t cringe when I say 54. I don’t want to look 25. I will do what I can to gently mitigate the look of aging, but I won’t do anything to actively stop or undo what’s happening to my face. That means no needles, no surgery. The most aggressive thing I do is exercise; I believe the best way to age gracefully is to take care of my heart and stay healthy and strong,” she says. She adds, however, “I’m not without vanity; I'm not going grey or letting my eyebrows grow wild. So, I take care of myself, I’m just not obsessive about every line or spot.” Here, her easy-going approach:
Moisturize. A lot “I’ve been using my own Face Butter for twenty years. I have very dry skin and nothing else works as well.” She’s equally diligent about moisture below the neck too, “A couple of times a week, I slather on Body Jelly; it’s like a deep conditioner for my skin.” Finally, Price is devoted to Dior Creme de Rose Lip Balm. “It’s softly-scented and comfortable to wear. I carry it in my purse and re-apply throughout the day.”
Make your meals meatless “Two years ago I became a vegetarian. Seven years ago, I lost 97 pounds and have kept it off, so my diet was pretty clean already. But I decided I wanted to stop meat altogether; I believe this will benefit me in the long run. I also get more compliments on my skin now, it's glowy-er and less reactive.”
Work out your body—and mind “I love Soul Cycle. When I walk into that spin studio, I stop thinking about work decisions and to-do lists. There are no kids I need to care for. It’s just me and that bike and I get an amazing workout—both physically and mentally. Ideally, I’d like to get there four to five times a week. But right now, it’s more like twice week since I’m still recovering from bunion foot surgery I had last summer.” Tip: To soothe achy feet, she swears by cooling Peppermint Foot Lotion.
Be kind to your hair To protect her fragile, dry hair, Lisa shampoos just once a month, using her Monoi Repairing Shampoo. Once a week, she uses her cleansing conditioner, Hair Milk. Then, on a daily basis, she revives her natural curls with one of her line's leave-in conditioning sprays.
Find inspiration in other women “[Makeup artist] Mally Roncal is someone I follow on Instagram, and we know each other in real life too. She inspires me because I love the way she balances her life, her business and her faith. She’s funny and unafraid to show both the good and the bad. I can always to look to Mally’s posts to give me a boost for the day.”
Smell good. Always. Lisa is known for creating sublime scents. But she’s also a fan of fragrances created by other people, and owns nearly 150 different perfumes and EDTs. “I am to fragrances what Carrie Bradshaw is to shoes,” she jokes. She even stores off-season fragrances in a three-foot-tall refrigerator (spring and summer are presently on ice, so to speak). “I learned, making my own scents, that keeping a fragrance chilled preserves it,” she explains. A few of her favorites for winter: Frederic Malle Portrait of a Lady; Tom Ford Patchoulu Absolu; Le Labo Santal 33 and Another 13 (the latter is only sold at Colette in Paris); Juliette Has A Gun; and Christian Dior Oud Ispahan.
Do slough daily Lisa eschews Rx retinoids for a gentler exfoliator, the Boscia Konjac Cleansing Sponge..
S-t-r-e-t-c-h “I’m stiffer when I wake up than I used to be. At first, I kept explaining it away, blaming it on something I’d done the day before. But then I finally acknowledged this was my new normal and a part of aging. So, now I stretch every morning, and have taken up yoga.”
Embrace your makeup-free face “When I was in my twenties, my mom discouraged me from playing around with makeup. She said the colors I was picking didn’t match and weren’t flattering—that I should appreciate my face as it was. So I stopped wearing makeup and didn’t start again until I was in my 40s. I think this gave me a good appreciation for who I am and what I look like naturally. Now, I do wear makeup to, say, cover dark circles, but I’m not trying to look like someone I’m not. I think this had made me more accepting of aging.”