What inspired you to create your brand?
My name is Meryl Marshall and I am the co-founder of Hynt Beauty. I am a breast cancer survivor that is celebrating my 12th year cancerversary. After my surgeries and treatment, I began the journey to learn about the possible dangers of the ingredients that lurk in everything from our cleaning products, lawn care, food, health- and beauty products. I was appalled to find that many of the products I was using on an everyday basis were potentially harmful to myself and my family. Until then, I honestly assumed that if a trusted brand product was being sold on the market, they had passed regulations to ensure their safety. It turned out that nothing could be further from the truth.
I gradually implemented an overhaul to a healthier lifestyle that included the scrutinizing of ingredient listings on packages before making my purchase decision and making better choices in general. In the past, I loved to treat myself with prestige category cosmetics that felt and looked luxurious, but I realized I now had to avoid the department store counters all together. I started going into natural food markets and tried purchasing my cosmetics there but I found I was gravely disappointed. So many aspects were missing such as color selection, the refined textures, and the glamourous packaging that made using pretty makeup, fun.
I started to look for cosmetics that met these criteria and could not find any that I loved so, I set off to create my own for other women like me who wanted a beautiful, affordable cosmetics line that they will enjoy using and can love and trust. I also wanted the products to appeal to a wide age demographic.
To start, I began a ‘blacklist’ of nasty ingredients that I found objectionable based on potential toxicity, irritability on skin, animal cruelty, environmental harm, and other factors that mattered to my philosophy, ethics and future wellbeing. Since then, this list continues to be fine-tuned so that our customers can rest assured that we are staying on top of new findings and important news on potentially harmful ingredients as best as we could. We try to also educate and share information and knowledge with our customers and all who are interested so that they can feel well equipped to decide which product is right for them at the store counter.
I created Hynt Beauty out of a passion for beautiful cosmetics and a need for clean formulated makeup and skincare line with honest ingredients that care for your skin while giving a touch of glamour. My husband Craig and I put our collective passion into our business and truly love the interaction we have with our customers. We also enjoy working with our dynamic, creative team that gets Hynt Beauty out there for others to discover, and keeps the business productive.
If you could go back to the beginning of the creation of your brand what would you do differently?
I can’t think of anything that I would change. We have been on target in terms of our business plan and our growth is smooth and steady. I also believe that every hiccup or roadblocks arise for a reason and as long as you can keep steadfast to your vision and goals and work hard toward it, ultimately, it really works out for the best.
What advice do you have to offer for those entrepreneurs in the green beauty industry just starting out?
Owning your own business in general is a huge undertaking. You have to invest most of your waking hours and wear many different hats as it’s costly to hire an extensive team to delegate. Additionally, it will cost a lot of money; much more than you will budget for. Overestimate your budget and plan your dollars wisely.
Now, my email inbox is flooded daily with so many ‘opportunities’ that are presented in a way that seems like you cannot do without that service. Things like events, trade shows, marketing services, requests for goodie bag items, advertising... In reality, this influx is very distracting and the further research and response becomes very time consuming. Such delays my interaction with our wholesale partners, potential accounts and business expansion in general so I have been working hard to find a good balance. I always strive to respond in a courteous manner with quick decisions. Actively choosing to spend your time wisely, not just your budget, becomes increasingly important as your business grows.
What is your most favorite product you have created and why?
Oh, it’s so difficult to choose just one but without a doubt, it must be our DUET Perfecting Concealer. We have a new shade called Medium Tan now which I have been loving. This award winning hero product is a staple in my makeup bag. It has incredible performance. I use only where I need to even out my skin tone, under my eyes and to mask some hyperpigmentation. Luckily, I do not need much. I just add some of our FINALE Finishing Powder on top and I’m good to go literally all day long.
How do you juggle your life with such huge demands from your company?
I try to block out small amounts of me time to relieve stress. I enjoy even a short workout at the gym, a 15 minute walk, or a bath is a special relaxing treat. I cook almost every night, but it is not a gourmet meal. It’s almost always a quick but healthy meal. It’s really so important to control how much salt, sugar and calories we consume by eating clean. For groceries, I shop on the weekend for the week. I go with a list so that my market time is super quick. Craig and I work a few hours on Sunday night which helps us to prepare for the week.
What is your morning and evening beauty routine?
Several mornings, I exfoliate my face in the shower. I have a bunch of different ones that I switch off with but lately, have been loving my dear friend Cynthia’s Violets Are Blue Facial Scrub. In the evening, I remove all makeup and treat my skin with a mask when I’m not too tired. Moisturization and eye cream are a must.
What ingredients are never added to any of your products?
We have a very long no-no list but the main ones: FD&C dyes except for just a wee bit in our Red Fervor lipstick; silicones, gluten, fragrance, petroleum, paraben, phenoxyethanol, oh my, just too many to mention. We disclose all of the byproduct ingredients, too, which many of my competitors do not. We are an ingredient transparent company so we disclose every ingredient that goes into our formulations, even if in the tiniest quantities. We don’t hide behind labeling such as “fragrance” which many companies do. You can read more on the use of the “fragrance” label on ewg.org.
What is the best beauty advice you have received?
Protect your skin from the sun!
What sets you apart from the sea of competition?
Our personalized customer service and the relationships that we have built, and continue to build, with influencers and our wholesale partners. We are, and strive to continue to be, a company and brand that can be loved and trusted wholeheartedly.