The Peridot Mag
Co-Founder of Supernatural Beauty, Jenny Cupido, was interviewed for new digital green beauty and wellness magazine The Peridot Mag. Join us as on Monday, July 18th at 3:30pm as Jenny Cupido will be doing a live Q&A over on The Peridot Mag.
The Peridot Mag | Co-Founder Jenny Cupido
In a world that is increasingly globalized, where we are so far removed from the people who make our clothes, grow our food and make things that we use on a daily basis, there are little pockets of resistance – the artisan beauty makers. Here, the theme is transparency and genuine joy for the products that they create (of course not all are equal, or have the same principles, but it soon becomes very apparent who is worth their salt). Talking to Jenny Cupido, the co-founder of Supernatural beauty, was an energizing experience that reminded me why I fell in love with the world of green beauty in the first place.
Tell us about your background? How did you get to where you are?
Well my background is that I worked really hard! I didn’t go to university, I fell in love at 18, and I got married at 19, and I was working in the corporate world. I started out as a transcriptionist (as I played piano, I was a very fast typist), moved up to PA and on to an office manager in a very big firm in London. Got married in the process, and had four kids. My mind is very active, I have a real hunger for learning and I like to be busy. I always had this desire to build something, something that I created. Yet I’ve never seen myself as the creative one. My older brothers are the creative types, they can play six instruments, build houses, and I was sort of like the “left overs”. I am very focused, and I have a lot of drive and ambition in life, in the early years I put it all into my marriage and my family. I was diagnosed with underactive thyroid at 25 (I was diagnosed on the day I found out I was pregnant with baby number 4). I saw a GP and he gave me a prescription for life. I was just shocked! I was thinking to myself ‘I am 25, I can’t be on medication for life’! Things got a lot worse before they got better.
I went into a severe depression, I had an 8-month-old baby, 18-month-old and 2,5 year old at that point, and was living in a house with 10 other people. It was very intense, to say the least, I wanted to put all my drive and my ambition into getting well. So I started to learn about my body and my hormones, and why at 25 I am having this issue. My mom in her 40s had a hyperactive thyroid, and had to take radioactive iodine, I saw all that as a teenager and it was pretty scary. My mom handed me this book “how to master your metabolism” that helped her, and in that book, there was a whole section about toxins in food, cosmetics, toys, carpets, pretty much in everything and everuwhere. My mind was blown, and I was like “oh my gosh our whole world is infected”, and I became completely paranoid. At this point I wanted to get control of this, I had to get rid of this stuff: all the plastic, all the skincare I had, and I always have been a complete beauty junkie, with department store beauty standards. While we are all sick of hearing the percentages of how much of our skincare gets absorbed into our blood stream, as there is no way of accurately measuring that, it did occur to me that the neck area, where I was rubbing all my skincare, is where the thyroid is. Our hormone control points are in that same place where we spend a lot of time rubbing lotion. So while I was learning about my thyroid is when I really started learning about my skincare, and I started reading every single label. I realised there was nothing in the shops, I couldn’t use any of that stuff. That was before I even knew natural and organic skincare brands existed, so I just started making my own. I got some sweet almond oil and I was using that. Some few years later my son developed eczema and I was so upset about that, and I started learning about the causes for it, how to treat it. I learnt about oils and all their healing properties, I couldn’t believe how many different kinds of oils there are. I started just formulating for myself, and the number of moms that came to me saying ‘can I please have some of that cream for eczema’, everyone seemed to have eczema and they were just desperate for something that didn’t have a bunch of steroids in it. I was handing them out, but people kept asking for more and more, I just couldn’t afford to keep giving it away. At this point, my husband said: ‘Why don’t you sell this product’?
In the process of making it legit, so I could sell it, I went and did the cosmetic making course, it was just a 1 week course so not like a degree, but here I learnt about the EU regulations and about toxicology testing. I learnt how to make everything: exfoliating cleansers, body washes and so on. While it was a natural skincare making class, I could not believe the ingredients we were using, like Peg-30? Really? I felt like the world needed Supernatural Beauty.
Supernatural beauty launched with 6 products that are all oil based. These are the products that I have been using for three years on my family and my friends, and I’ve had nothing but positive feedback. Once we decided to go ahead, supernatural beauty was created in three months. We did the branding, got everything together and launched. The start was very personal, this is my journey, this is what helped my skin.
Where I live, natural and organic isn’t really an option down here. We don’t have the London shops, it isn’t even on people’s minds to look for that. It is all about glamour and what is trending, it is very market driven and what makes money when it comes to skincare. I have been doing pamper parties, to educate people about natural skincare. My mom is 61 now, and she is from California so her skin was becoming crinkly from the sun. She became obsessed with our products. It was actually hard work to convince my family to use my products, my mom was just getting more expensive products as she was getting older. When she finally tried my oils she just couldn’t believe the results on her skin. This is when I became even more convinced, as I didn’t have wrinkles yet, I had prematurely ageing skin because of the hormones. My skin went crazy dry with the side effects of medication, and my pores became more visible, as they would get when you get older. Oil cured it for me. My mom used to use this really strong Retinol serum that would work on wrinkles but leave the skin feeling really dry, and now she has been able to ditch it. Her skin not only looks better but it actually feels better, and that is what is really important, that skin feels normal as well as looking good. I am not a chemist, I don’t have a degree formulating, I am just a woman on a mission to find some answers.
Since we were talking about ingredients, I just have to ask: what is your favourite ingredient?
I would say the first favourite is shea butter, ah I love that stuff! You could do so much with it! I think it gets a bit of a bad rep because we think of sticky shea butters that you get from some brands. When you mix shea butter with water it gets sticky, butwhen you use it on its own or mixed with oils, it is silky smooth and feels amazing. I would say Abyssinian oil is another top ingredient. It is just a super oil: it is light, it changes the appearance of your skin, and it is so nutrient rich without being heavy or greasy on your skin.
I have three favourite essential oils and I use them in combination: frankincense, patchouli and ylang ylang. The three of them together is my absolute favourite scent. I do love CO2 extracts as well, they are super powerful, to me they are worth more than essential oils in how nutrient rich they are, and they give such gorgeous colour to your products. CO2 extracts for me have to be organic, it is such a powerful extracting process that all the pesticides from the plant would be pulled out into the oil as well. I think they will eventually replace essential oils.
You have told me you only use your own skincare products, but what does your beauty routine look like?
It is quite simple. I use glorious cleansing balm morning and night to cleanse my face. In the mornings I will aply it to my face and jump in the shower. I also use it to rub off my mascara at night, followed by a hot damp washcloth to wipe it off, and then I use my own toner that isn’t released yet. Then I use Redemption Face Oil. I spend a good time massaging it in especially in the evenings, the more time I spend massaging the better my face looks next morning. I love Salvation Face Oil layered on top at night, but not in the daytime.
Tell me a bit more about the cleansing balm, it has a rather different formulation from any other balm I have come across.
I am actually amazed at how great it turned out, because this is actually a pretty simple formula. I love that it has sodium bicarbonate in it, some people give me flack because of it and the citrus essential oils in the balm. Since it is dispersed in oil, there is no water contact, and as it is a cleanser that will be washed off, there isn’t phototoxicity to be concerned about with this product. The sodium bicarbonate is so great, I don’t like jojoba beads for exfoliating, they feel weird on my face, and with sodium bicarbonate, it dissolves in water so you are never scraping it off, causing micro-tears, and it does a great job of balancing the ph of your skin. So having it dispersed in oil, the effect is so mild that you are exfoliating and moisturising at the same time, and I think it is that combination that makes it such a winner. It is a great all-rounder for so many skin types and it is great at removing makeup. Getting makeup off is one of the most annoying parts of a skincare routine, it is just so boring. Putting a little bit of the cleanser between your fingers, warming it up, rubbing it on your eyebrows and eyelashes (once the eyelashes are between the two fingers gently apply the balm onto them without getting product into your eyes or on the eyelid), it actually makes your eyelashes grow longer and stronger because of the combination of coconut oil and castor oil. The coconut esters actually dissolve dimethicone, and it is in a lot of makeup even the natural products, and that is what is so hard to remove (think waterproof mascara, dimethicone is what makes it so hard to remove). The cleansing balm makes your skin feel like it is meant to feel, not rubbed, scrubbed, ripped and stripped, but nourished. The beauty of it is that everything (dirt, makeup) just comes off really well.
Do you have a video to show how best to use it?
I was thinking about doing that! I am just going to do one, it’s not going to be fancy, just something on Instagram or Facebook. I was thinking of doing a silent one, I am quite a talker but I was thinking of staying quiet, with maybe some music in the background. Because I really need showcase ‘this is how you take off your makeup’ without distracting people.
What does your typical morning look like? You wake up… What happens?
OK, I wake up and there are one or two children kissing me, and asking me to make them breakfast. I work out 6 days a week, I do yoga and I do Kayla Itsines bbg (bikini body guide), that’s another thing with underactive thyroid, you need to be in constant motion or you feel depressed. So I workout religiously, and I also have quiet time every day (I am a Christian, so I have my bible time then), sometimes it’s 5 minutes, sometimes it is 10 minutes, sometimes it is 1, but I make sure to have it. The rest of my morning is spent packing lunches, finding missing socks and shoes, and heading out the door at 8.30 am. My mornings are pretty intense, so I have to be organised.
My beauty routine has to be really quick and it happens after the workout. I do my makeup in the car, while my kids are strapped in and they can’t attack me while I’m putting my mascara on. I always carry my miracle balm in my handbag, and I love to put it around my eyes and on the areas that get dry. I usually layer it with my foundation to keep my skin really moisturised during the day.
What is your approach to getting older, as you are about to turn thirty, what is your perspective with regards to beauty and age?
I am actually pretty excited about getting older. When it comes to beauty and age, I think age is beauty to be honest. My role model is my mom, and she is the most beautiful woman to me ever. She takes care of herself, but she also glows and shines with confidence, and that to me is the best anti-ager, your own self-confidence. Your skin is not necessarily what people see when they look at you: they are looking at your eyes, your smile, your posture, that is what they notice. We were talking about genesis cleanser and salvation oil earlier, they were developed for mature skin types, that is the word I prefer to use when talking about beauty products.
For me when it comes to age you are never too young to make good choices, and you are never too old to make stupid ones. When it comes to skin, I think it is about enjoying what you have and caring for it. As long as you are caring for your skin, that is the most important part: to care for it, not to change everything about it. I don’t think we should be anti-ageing ourselves, we should be caring for our skin at every age and not trying to turn back the hand of time. We all know those women, who try to look like teenagers at 70, and it is weird and even scary, there is nothing beautiful about that. It is women who are confident, happy in their own skin, these are the people we are attracted to.
What are the future plans for Supernatural beauty?
In the next year I am planning on releasing 4 new products, and the biggest plan, further down the line, is that I want Supernatural beauty to be more than just skincare. Skincare is only one piece of the puzzle and it really is about creating a lifestyle of health and wellness, not just about making your face perfect. I still have a long way to go with the skincare part, but that is my ultimate goal. I don’t want to compete with brands with huge skincare lines, my goal is not to make it overwhelming for our customers, but to give them just what they need. My own skincare routine is pretty basic, and I am happy with that. I don’t have half an hour to spend each morning on my beauty routine, I’m a mom of 4! I just want to take care of my skin with good ingredients, I think the better ingredients you use the less you should have to use. That has always been my motto, using real ingredients and using fewer products. I am not talking about using single ingredients, I do like using combinations, blends are really effective.
I do want to expand the range of skin types that we cater for. For example, there is so much more to acne than having oily skin, I get spots and I have really dry skin, so everyone could get spots. I want to create more targeted treatments, and just widen our range a bit. That is the goal for the next 2 years, but in the long run, the aim is to grow beyond skincare.
We’re thrilled to announce that Jenny will be doing a live Q&A in our Network! Don’t miss it for a chance to talk directly with her and ask your beauty questions. When? July 18 – 15h30 BST