As the owner of an eco beauty store for the past five years, I’ll admit it takes something totally outside the norm to grab my attention these days. One Love Organics did it when they sent over their Skin Savior waterless beauty balm (you can read my review of One Love Organics at The Nature of Beauty Blog). But they secured my commitment to carrying the brand when they made the genius decision to partner with Elizabeth Dehn, a beloved Minneapolis/St Paul beauty editor, and creator of BeautyBets.com. Between Dehn’s impeccable taste, and One Love’s unique, waterless, and potent formulas (and the aromas! oh, the aromas!), I knew Elizabeth Dehn for One Love Organics would be a beauty lovers’ dream come true. The first two products alone are my all-time favorites in their respective categories. The vitamin c waterless serum is a brightening, moisturizing, and age-fighting powerhouse, and the vitamin e eye balm is…well, it’s quite simply perfection. I’ve never before been excited to apply eye balm every day (and often twice).
Recently, I was able to steal of bit of Dehn’s time for an interview, to ask about the impetus for creating Elizabeth Dehn for One Love Organics, as well as the brand’s overall mission, and what her plans are for the rest of the line.
Bly: So tell me a little about how the launch of Liz for OLO has been going so far:
Dehn: In a way it’s been like giving birth. The anticipation was stressful, but we’ve had a great first month already, and it all feels like a blur. I’m busier than I’ve ever been, but I can’t complain about how anything has gone. The partnership, and the products, are more perfect than I could have ever imagined. And we’re just getting started, with a whole line already plotted out, and new products ready to launch soon.
Bly: Many people may not know this, but this is your second collaborative effort to create a skin care line. Because the first company you partnered with was also based here in the Twin Cities, I am somewhat familiar with the situation. They went out of business soon after you launched your line (and, just to be super clear, I know it had nothing to do with your line!). So when I saw you were doing the whole partnership thing again, this time with One Love Organics, my first thought was “What an AMAZING and perfect choice!!!” But my second thought was, “How on earth did you convince yourself to go through this again?!”
Dehn: Well, so that first partnership wrapped up, and I was tired and not interested in doing another product line. I had learned there are only pieces of this kind of thing that I enjoy doing. I’m still an editor at heart and I didn’t want to take on all aspects of it again. But after some time passed, I got the itch again. I had my blog, but I still needed another creative outlet. So I called a couple of brands that had reached out to me after my initial project ended, and after talking with Suzanne of One Love, it was clear we really clicked. The more we talked, the more the plan evolved, from being a partnership on just one product, to a full blown collaboration on a whole line. I think what made it so perfect, too, is that I get to do the pieces I love doing and am good at, and I have a partner who is able to do the rest, and is so incredibly brilliant at it.
Bly: I love the two products you’ve done so far, the vitamin c serum and the vitamin e eye balm. But I’m curious: what drove the decision to start with those two in particular?
Dehn: The vitamin c serum is the new iteration of the old serum I made with the first company. I never went a week without hearing about the old serum; it’s the one people were unable to live without, and I wanted to tackle that as soon as possible. I also wanted to add a brightening component, because sun spots are my primary concern. But instead of making two separate serums, I wanted to find a way to have it all in one.
It was in making this product that Suzanne and I realized what a good pair we were. I don’t have sensitive skin, but I do have dry skin and sun spots, whereas her skin is oily and sensitive. It was a challenge for her to get vitamin c in there, because vitamin c is so active, and can irritate really sensitive skin. But she has a totally different level of knowledge than I do, and spent a ton of time speaking with doctors and doing her research, and she found a way to add the vitamin c. Then she upped the ante with green tea extract, to make all the other ingredients more potent – but again, without aggravating sensitive skin. Of course, I wanted it to be really, really moisturizing, because women here in Minnesota can’t get enough moisture, and so the moisture piece is what really differentiates this from other Vitamin C serums. Plus, it has no water or other fillers. I haven’t seen that before.People are seeing results already, with their acne scars and their sun spots. And it also works really well for sensitive skin.
With the eye balm, we had begun working on a few products at the same time, and sometimes you just land on a formula you love. Right away, with the eye balm, I loved the texture, the consistency, and it seemed to fill a void in the market. The eye balm is de-puffing, which you usually find in a serum, but also super hydrating and line reducing. So even though you’ve got that rich, creamy texture, you also have the ginseng, eyebright and pomegranate to lift and tighten as well. People have commented that it feels like a mini eye lift. You can use it in the morning – just a little bit, since it is so rich – to de-puff and calm, but then you can slather it on at night, and you wake up with this wonderful, dewy look, like you’ve slept far more than most of us usually do.
Bly: What would say is your overarching mission with this line?
Dehn: Active moisture. Every product is moisture-rich, and full of active ingredients that serve a purpose. Plus, each product will have a vitamin focus. Basically, we’re trying to make it easy for people to understand what they’re getting, in terms of their “daily dose” of vitamins. Right now, we’re working on a cleanser and face spray. And everyone wants to know if we’re recreating the Shea Cream from my first line, and the answer is yes, and it is amazing!