So Fresh, So Clean
Natural beauty brand Elevé Cosmetics is working to raise beauty industry standards
by Madelyn Reiter
Photographs by Claire Schaper
Elevé Cosmetics’ studio is the ultimate girl cave complete with velvet sofas, pink decor and a champagne bar. Entering recently, the room was filled with music and laughter. Created by Alyssa Rome Design, it felt like I was back in my college dorm room getting ready for a night out with my BFFs (though the makeup studio is WAY more luxurious than my dorm ever was).
I snapped back to the present as Elevé founder Gertie Wilson applied a DIY face mask to her sister Ginger Averitt, who also works on the Elevé team. Gertie explains how the face mask will “brighten and tighten” her sister’s skin. The combination of their African Red Tea Cleanser and honey naturally hydrates, purifies and calms the skin. After 15 minutes, Ginger rinses off her mask, skin radiant with a smile to match.
“Clean beauty” is all about the ingredients and at Elevé they do things differently than your typical department store brands. Thanks to their organic ingredients, the products nourish the skin, without the harsh chemicals, fillers, toxins and heavy metals often found in name-brand lines. Often these ingredients are damaging to skin and can eventually lead to health issues, Wilson explains.
Girls and women often struggle with their skin. While many factors, including diet and hormones cause breakouts and dryness, makeup can play a huge role as well, Wilson explains. “I had breakouts and I had dry patches. I feel like I experienced a lot of what everyone did. I just didn’t know what was causing it.”
Wilson began experimenting with makeup as a six-year-old ballerina. She loved the way makeup allowed her to transform into another character. “Not only did I love makeup, but I was also good at it. I was better at makeup than I was ballet,” Wilson laughs. Makeup allowed her to change characters, and it also allowed her confidence to shine. By age 11 she was sneaking into her mother’s makeup bag and trying on her Clinique and Lancôme lipsticks and mascaras. “Sometimes when you throw on red lipstick, you can walk into a room and stand a little taller,” the beauty line owner recalls.
After a childhood of curiosity and years of working as a makeup artist, Wilson realized name-brand cosmetics weren’t catering to everyone. “A lot of my clients would have an allergy, or a lifestyle preference that was either vegan or gluten free.” And since many makeup lines didn’t meet her clients’ needs Wilson was carrying five to six makeup lines at any given time and used various products from each line to accommodate clients’ needs.
Happily Wilson’s issue developed into her inspiration as she began to create naturally derived products that worked well for everybody.
In 2015, after years of research, Wilson launched her vegan-based beauty line Elevé. Her products don’t conceal the skin, but treat it holistically with antioxidants and moisturizers. The importance of naturally-derived cosmetics is summed up in the brand’s name: Elevé, a French term used in ballet, which means “to rise.” Wilson wants to create products that allow women to feel beautiful and gives them the power to rise up.
Wilson’s Brightening and Tightening Mask
2 pumps of African Red Tea Botanical Cleaner
1 tablespoon of organic honey
4 drops of Organic Golden Beauty Oil
Combine African Red Tea Botanical Cleanser with honey. The African Red Tea Cleanser is enriched with zinc, Vitamin D, calcium and potassium, which produces healthy skin cells. The honey is a natural moisturizer and antibacterial, which helps fight acne.
Rub the mixture lightly over face.
Sit down, relax and leave mask on for 15 minutes
Rinse with lukewarm water
Follow with Organic Golden Beauty Oil, or any naturally derived organic face oil, to firm and tightens the skin.