Opened Sept 2017
As a professional commercial make up artist, Becca Bussert depended on hard working beauty products, lip sticks that stay put and refined products that perform under the scrutiny of high resolution cameras.
At home, she used eco-friendly products, pursued a clean diet and made smart choices for a healthy lifestyle.
Why, she wondered, couldn’t she find make-up that performed to her high standards made without harmful ingredients? A decade ago, there were “clean” products available, made on a smaller scale, sold at farmers markets often by cottage industrials. While she applauds these makers, they were not widely available nor high performing. “During the last 15 years, we have seen amazing scientific innovations in regards to natural and safe products. Now, we anti-aging, long-wear products that meet the many specific needs of faces of all ages and skin types,” she says.
“Six or so years ago, I started sourcing more natural products, using them on jobs for my high profile clients and now we have an amazing selection to chose from,” says Becca, the manager at Aillea on Roswell Road in Buckhead where all natural makeup, skincare, bath and body products and hair care solutions are sold. The sunny boutique shows more like a gallery than a cosmetic counter, with tiny colorful boxes and bottles in bright packages lining the shelves.
“I want something pretty on my vanity counter and to carry in my purse. And, I want to know my mascara not to run. So with the brands we’ve curated, not only are they full of efficacy and work well in their category, they also look pretty and cover a range of prices. You can have a safe products that don’t cost an arm and a leg.”
Aillea, opened here in 2017 and now stocks more than 50 different brands, primarily from the US. The company was founded by Kathryn Murray Dickinson, with two shops in Denver, and locations in Charleston and Raleigh, with a new shop underway in Charlotte. “A lifetime beauty junkie and former executive in the beauty industry in New York City, my head started to spin when I tried to ‘clean up’ my beauty routine,” says Dickinson. “I started on the journey of replacing every product I use with one that works as well or better as the ones I had been using, but had no toxic chemicals. The amount of green washing (having one organic ingredient but lots of other chemicals and advertising as organic) and false advertising left me frustrated and incensed.”
At Aillea, Becca and her team spend time with their customers, finding the right brands to meet any budget. “We can pick and chose from various lines to find the best for each person, for all types and skin color. And, there’s a variety of price ranges. It’s very accessible.”
And, since the average woman will ingest seven pounds of lipstick in her lifetime, it makes sense to find a brand that won’t do harm. The same goes for lotions and makeup. “Skin is the largest organ we have. Be careful with what you slather on,” urges Becca.
With apps like Think Dirty and websites like EWG.org, consumers can do their homework and search more than 80,000 products to find smarter choices for healthier living.
At Aillea, the collection is curated, so customers don’t have to make a choice about what is good for them and what helps make them even more beautiful.