Honest. Annmarie.

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Honesty. Transparency. Authenticity. Purity. Real. These buzzwords are found in our media, from perfectly curated Instagram accounts, to visually stunning television commercials, to the mission statements of large corporations. Without looking too closely, one would probably assume that being honest is so important—vital even—in our world.

We expect it, but can be surprised when we find it. We demand it, but can be offended when we hear it. We think it, but don’t often speak it. The truth. The honest to goodness truth. It’s a hard trait to come by in many people. We consider ourselves nice when we avoid hard truths to friends about their new hairstyle or old jeans, but the truth is that just makes us liars.

At what age are we our most honest? Then why/how does it decline, where did it all go? And how can you choose honesty in beauty now…

Our Most Honest Age

As for our most honest age: five. Hudson our 5yr old is the perfect age to relish honesty. Honesty in how something tastes. Honesty in how he feels. Honesty in why he’s crying. And in what he wants. Five is old enough to understand the difference between a lie and the truth, but young enough to want to please so he’ll tattle on anyone who tries to evade the truth when put on the spot by an authority figure. Ask any five-year-old who saw their nine-year-old cousin sneak a piece of candy. He’ll tell you the honest truth. And it’ll be Hudson who’ll remind you of the error of your ways.

Where Has the Honesty Gone?

We’re living in strange times. According to the 2017 Edelman Trust Barometer, we’re nearing the end of the year during which Trust became a global crisis. The report reveals a first-time decline, worldwide, in citizens’ trust in institutions since 2012. Naturally, we find ourselves wondering, what? how can this be? Given our culture’s obsession with all levels of realness, how did we wind up in this trust desert?

At Annmarie Skin Care, while we can’t say for certain the cause of this massive level of distrust (we’ll leave that for the sociologists), we admit that we’ve experienced this phenomenon at a gut level. In recent years we have felt a powerful reluctance to believe just anyone, especially when it comes to self-care. Simply put, we’re feeling mighty distrustful, too.

In a perfect world, you wouldn’t have to explicitly state that you’re honest. You wouldn’t need laws to compel companies to be straightforward, like this California’s Cleaners Right to Know Act of 2017 (yet another) bill that was recently passed in California. You’d just be honest, transparent, authentic, pure, real—no exceptions. From the Starbucks mission statement to instagram’s #authenticity roll, we’re so desperate for honesty that we may be ready to believe any organization who puts authentic in its tagline. That’s precisely why we at Annmarie Skin Care would never ask you to just take our (buzz)word for it.

Making Skincare Honest: Our Story

When I was first asked the question “What natural skin care product do you use” 10 or so years ago… I did not have an honest answer.  So Kevin and I set about trying to find a skincare line that not only claimed to be honest, but actually was. The journey was long and we were often disappointed, but our gritty pursuit eventually paid off: we found a wonderful formulator that met our high standards of integrity—and we knew we had discovered the right formulator for us when she confessed that she only works with people she instinctively trusts.

From the very start, we decided that, if we were going to ensure that every aspect of our business lived by our values of honesty, we needed to do things differently. That meant making our business systems incredibly unique, not outsourcing to the lowest bidder.

Within our small cocoon of trust we are vigilant over everything, from the base ingredients for our products, to the creation process, to communication with our employees and clients. This way, we can be sure every aspect of Annmarie is 100% up to our standards of purity, quality, and honesty.

The same care we devote to our products is given to our dedicated Annmarie team. Honesty is reflected in how we view each valuable member, as part of a family that thrives on trust. This means that everyone at Annmarie Skin Care is treated with respect, given amazing benefits, encouraged to live and breath our mission, and most importantly, given the freedom to be themselves.

How You Can (And Should) Choose Honesty, Too

The beauty industry, including skincare, has been well-documented as not being the shining example of integrity we’d like it to be. From misleading customers about “proven” efficacies, to marketing products that unnecessarily “remedy flaws,” the industry seems to spend most of its resources looking for the quickest way to make more money, rather than investing in real research. While we’re doing our part to counteract its slipperier tendencies, the best way to make sure you’re honest with the skin care you choose is to take responsibility yourself.

Here’s our best advice on how to always choose honesty when it comes to your skincare:

1—Practice What They Preach

This one is simple: Make real, natural beauty your go-to. A quick google search will lead you to dozens of articles or makeup brands that indicate ways to imitate natural beauty. But…what if… you truly embraced your natural beauty, as is? Decide to go a day, a week (or forever!) without using any makeup and you’ll realize see just how naturally beautiful you are.

2—Admit It When You Didn’t Wake Up Like This

If the time calls for a little enhancement, there’s no shame in it—as long as you don’t pretend its natural. The fake-beauty-is-my-real-beauty scheme is partly what fuels this mess of sham-authenticity. Next time someone comments on your startlingly smooth skin, confess to achieving your flawless complexion with that great new mineral foundation.

3—Do Your Research

Ignorance is no excuse to support companies that aren’t up to your standards of honesty. Take twenty minutes right now to educate yourself. Here are a few places to start:  Our blog of course, and other resources like Made Safe, Think Dirty App, EWG.org, and LaraAdler.com.

4—Know What Makes You Beautiful

Honest beauty is not about how perfect your eyebrows are, or whether you have a perfect smile. It’s about knowing who you are at your best. Be unafraid to think deeply about what matters to you, and then decide to live those values out through every action, however minor, you do. The confidence that stems from knowing who you are is a glow that will never fade.

Sometimes the fight for honesty can feel like an impossible war raging both within and without. When I get discouraged or fall back into the habit of choosing the easiest thing rather than the most honest (which I did with a friend just last week), I take a deep breath and remind myself: when I am honest, I’m infinitely more beautiful. I’m able to pursue what I love, be carefree in my passions, and ultimately connect more with those around me, all because I’ve stopped spending energy pointlessly trying to hide aspects of myself I once deemed as imperfect.

It’s exactly this that Annmarie Skin Care seeks to embody in a skincare brand. I hope you’ll join me in being ourselves, wildly.

How do you fight for honesty? Let Annmarie  know in the comments.

References:
Written with Terese White and Krista Walsh
Cleaning Product Right to Know Act of 2017
Trust Barometer—edelman.com
Lies, hysteria and contempt. Because we're worth it—The Guardian
How Cosmetic Companies Get Away With Pseudoscience—psmag
Made Safe
Think Dirty
EWG
Lara Adler

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