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Meet the Muse: Jennifer Freitas, CEO of Truth Beauty Company

We are excited to introduce you to Jennifer Freitas, the founder of The Truth Beauty Company and a leader in the field of eco-friendly and cruelty-free beauty. Jennifer's passion for environmentalism/green living, commitment to wellness, and love for clean beauty products inspired her to launch The Truth Beauty Company. Located in Waterloo, Ontario, The Truth Beauty Company is a carefully curated boutique that showcases products free from harmful chemicals, toxins, parabens, phthalates, and more. They believe that anything consumed should have positive benefits on all aspects of the body, mind, soul, and surrounding environment.

We chatted with Jennifer about her passion for clean beauty, her experience as a holistic skincare consultant, her personal beauty routine, and more! 

You can now shop Minori at The Truth Beauty Company.

Congratulations on celebrating 10 years of The Truth Beauty Company! Can you share a bit about your story and what inspired you to launch your store?

When I was 21 (2001) and in University, a good friend of mine came to live with me. She had been a vegetarian for a while and introduced me to this way of eating. I immediately felt the benefit of eating WHOLE and unrefined foods, as the switch to a vegetarian diet inspired me to clean up the way I was eating overall. I had already had an interest in environmentalism and eating less meat and less packaged food just felt aligned. From there, I began examining other areas in which I could live a more 'clean' / 'nontoxic' lifestyle. Residing in Toronto it was easy to access 'clean' beauty products, as well as lifestyle goods. Fast forward to 2009, I was pregnant with my twin girls and as a single parent I decided it would be best if I moved back to the KW region for the support of my family..... but there was NO WHERE to get 'clean' and 'nontoxic' products like I had. 

You launched The Truth Beauty Company before the rise and trend of clean beauty. Looking ahead, how do you see the clean beauty industry evolving in the next few years, or what are some things you would like to see change in the beauty industry?

I would love to see the clean beauty industry go back to its roots. For the past few years, a lot of venture capitalism has come into the space and I feel like some brands have shifted their values ... or rather, have placed less importance on actually creating sustainable and long-term change. There are big questions we need to be asking as retailers / consumers / manufacturers on how we can continue to make the world a better place. I am happy to say that I think there are still many people who share this sentiment and so I hope we continue to see more innovative packaging and more conversation around excessive consumption. Having a brand like Minori grace our shelves is an example of the brands that I think are walking this line. 

Can you speak about the correlation between clean beauty and reducing toxin overload in the environment? I feel like this is often left out of the conversation.

When I began my journey in the Clean Beauty space, it wasn't because of an illness (thankfully) or a skin condition. For me, it was about our environment and preserving it. I sought products that didn't rely on petroleum or other non-renewable resources. I wanted to use products that operated from a 3 P point of view - People, Planet and Profit. And around when I started in the Clean Beauty space, the 3 P framework was really a driver. There wasn't (and maybe still isn't) enough awareness, among consumers, about ingredients that are persistent and bioaccumulative; what we wash down our drains ends up in our waterways and in the bellies of animals and in our soil that grows our food. Being a coach for the David Suzuki Foundation's program 'Queen of Green' really shaped my view of cosmetic formulations. We really do need to be mindful that our actions have impacts. PFA's, for example, are getting some attention now and we need to be concerned because scientific studies have shown that exposure to some PFAS in the environment may be linked to harmful health effects in humans and animals. I am wary of 'fear-mongering' but rather want us to be conscious and to ask questions.  

I would love to know more about your journey to becoming a holistic skincare consultant. When you're working with a client, how do you work together to achieve their skincare goals?

I can recall when I first opened my doors that there really were few people talking about taking care of our skin in a holistic way. I quickly befriended facialists, brand founders, formulators.... anyone that was in the clean beauty space that could provide their expertise that I could learn from. I read all the books/publications from Jolene Hart (certified health coach) as well as Adina Grigore (founder of SW Basics), to name but two, as well as so many others. I took virtual courses from the Concepts Institute of Advanced Esthetics so I could also learn and understand more conventional approaches to treating common skin issues. I also continue to take courses to stay apprised of what is new and trending.
 
I have married all the teachings/education I have accumulated over the 14 years I have been running Truth Beauty and feel confident in my approach to aiding clients in achieving their skincare goals. I generally start with an assessment of hearing how the client describes their own skin and own skin care concerns. I take into account their lifestyle (do they have the time or desire for a 3 step or 8 step routine), and of course, what they would like to invest financially into their skincare routine. We often correlate price with efficacy, and my experience has taught me that is not always the case. From there I explore any sensitivities to particular ingredients. Once we have selected their products, I give guidance in application, and of course, I like to follow up after about 2 weeks. I am proud to say, I have been able to help so many people fall back in love with their skin. 

What is your skincare routine like, both morning and night?

In the morning, I am actually pretty simple. Since I like to shower in the morning, I don't cleanse; plus, I am of the view that if you have thoroughly washed in the eve, you likely don't need to wash in the mornings. I am almost 43 so I don't struggle with any excess oil I would want to wash off. Nevertheless, I spritz my toner and then apply a lightweight cream or lotion. When I apply my makeup, I layer sunscreen and primer as well. The evening is when I spend the most time with my skincare. A thorough cleanse is a MUST for me. I start with an oil cleanse to remove eye makeup especially, but do a pass through all over. I love oil cleansers! I usually follow with a gentle cream cleanser to get every last bit. I will then use my toner and I follow it with my serums of choice; I usually apply 1 or 2 different ones that target different concerns - i.e. hyperpigmentation or general radiance are two areas I am always looking for improvement. I then seal it all in with a heavier moisturizer or balm. I like to do my evening skincare when I get home from work... around 5 or 6 .... and then later in the evening, when I am relaxing, I work with my tools - gua sha or LED. 

Do you have any non-negotiable skincare tips you can share for maintaining healthy skin?

My only non-negotiable is to not skip a day! Cleanse and Hydrate are two absolute must-do's daily! I also believe you should schedule one or 2 facials a year, if you can. There is something about a trained professional working their magic. My preference is always to see someone who works with natural ingredients and focuses on lymphatic massage.

What's your go-to makeup routine?

I love make-up! I think it gives us great tools to enhance the features we love about ourselves! I don't adventure very much with my make-up though; I use mostly what makes me feel naturally beautiful. Always, concealer - I am prone to dark circles. I also have dark brown eyes and a heavy brow, so having a bright orbital area is what I like for myself. I also always make sure my brows are groomed and even.... I have a bit of a bald spot in one so I fill that one, ever so slightly! The other 2 must-do items are bronzer and blush. I have a fairly square shaped face, so I find the contouring that bronzer gives me offers just that slight definition I am after. Blush simply to add some youthfullnes to my overall look! Nice to haves and items I would include if I have extra time, a subtle lip and highlight! I love a good glow! 

Do you have a favorite Minori product?

I sure do! I just love the Orchid cream blush. I think it is the most perfect hue to add a soft natural flush - not only to my cheeks but also to my lips. It is so easy to apply and of course, blend!

What does wellness mean to you?

Wellness to me means listening to what speaks to your heart. I believe we all have the capacity to be conscious and compassionate - towards others and our planet and can honour moving through the world in that way, but also believe in being attentive to our desires. That is the crux of wellness for me - attaining our desired beauty but also adding beauty to the world. Perhaps, a different concept of 'wellness' but that is how I use that word :) 

What is your favorite way to practice self-care lately?

It has been and continues to be hot yoga. I find the sweating purges my skin and the intensity purges my mind. I have been practicing the 'Bikram' series (yes, he is an awful man) for more than 10 years, but the 26 postures done twice, in 90 minutes in 40 degree heat and 40 degree humidity have done wonders for my headspace and body over the years. I feel like I look great, but most importantly, I feel great. When I am in that hot room, I am at peace; to me, that is self-care. 

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