Interview with Chrystal MacLeod
This week we are happy to introduce, Chrystal MacLeod. Chrystal is a free spirit who transcended her decade–long career as a make up artist into her new venture: an organic and sustainable health and beauty brand called, Harlow Skin Co.. The brand is not even a year old and already graces the shelves of Matchstick Coffee, SPUD.ca, La Vault Décor, Hunter & Hare and more. We caught up with Chrystal to chat about her new venture and passions behind organic skin care.
Where do you call home?
I was born and raised in Fredericton, New Brunswick. After high school, I moved to Toronto where I lived for eight years. After Toronto, I moved out west to Whistler and now live in Vancouver.
How did Harlow Skin Co. start?
I got my start in my career as a make up artist. Over the 12 years of working in make up, I had the opportunity to sit face to face with thousands of women. During that time, I started to notice a shift of awareness towards both food and health. This motivated me to start to pay attention to the ingredients of skin care and cosmetics and how they relate to the skin. I became obsessed with reading labels and couldn’t find skin products without unnecessary ingredients, so I decide to make it myself. The scents were developed around the women I came face to face with during that time and all the different things that inspired me. The underlying tone I had with starting Harlow Skin Co. was simplicity. I wanted to produce products with simple ingredients that are natural and organically sourced.
Where did the name Harlow come from?
When I started the brand, I had a long history of wanting to do everything. I always have ideas. This was one idea that I really wanted to make happen. To make it a reality, I needed motivation. That motivation came in the form of the name, Harlow: My future child’s name. Harlow is a constant reminder of why I am creating this brand. I am doing this for the future of people. So that people have a conscious alternative to everyday routines and the next generation with support the growth of natural and sustainable products.
What are you most passionate about?
I am passionate about people. I am passionate about many things, but, I think it is really important that people have confidence and self worth. My style in the make up industry was that less is more. I want to teach women to do what they do with what they have. To enhance what they already have. This is what I am trying to do with Harlow, because when you look good, you feel good, and when you have something that feels good its a spiral effect of happiness throughout your entire body. I am passionate about making products that are aesthetically pleasing and good for you.
Skin is biggest organ in your body so you need to care about what you put on it. I am passionate about bringing awareness to the disconnect with ingredients in our skin care products. There are 12 ingredients in this lotion; there is 25 ingredients in most drug store brands. When a products first ingredient is water, which means it needs preservatives to not go bad. There is no regulation for cosmetics/skin care in North America so who knows what the large brands put in their skin care products to preserve them. Companies can put whatever they want in them. Europe is setting the tone by banning a whole list of ingredients that North America welcomes with no regulations.
When do you find you are most productive?
After my first cup of coffee my day starts. I either walk to Matchstick or make my own. I am most productive at around 10 am until 6. After that, I do the labeling while watching movies and check my tasks off my to–do list.
Where do you meet like–minded people?
I connect with like–minded people on Instagram. I see these people online and through my connection to my community and I contact them on the app. I look for people that seem like–minded and have a feed that has a similar aesthetic and environmental concern as I do. I also like to step outside of my network and meet up with people that have a broader reach then my network.
How do you give back to your community?
The product itself gives back to the community. We source from the source as much as possible. I plan to work with my local community to infuse our own oils with local sourced items for a future project called the ‘Feed Your Skin Workshop’. The project will take items from the community to create a product from locally sourced ingredients. It will be a community collaboration; working with the community to make good products.
To learn more about Harlow Skin Co. follow them on Instagram.