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Hot Off The Press :: Organic Beauty Mag To Hit Newsstands Before Year End {Plus Exclusive Interview With The Editor-In-Chief}

The time has come.  The wait is over.  The brand-new, highly anticipated, hottest beauty glossy to hit newsstands is green and it’s gorgeous!

Natural and organic beauty is no longer a niche industry. It has and continues to flood conventional markets as consumers ask more questions than ever about product safety and purity. The rapid increase in organic beauty sales is due, in part, to consumer awareness of hazards in their synthetic and toxic counterparts. Higher standards have become prevalent even for the average consumer thanks to mainstream media spotlights on lead in lipstick, estrogen-mimicking parabens and BPA in plastics.

Though it may not seem like an ideal time to launch anything in our current economic state, there may not be a more perfect time than now for Organic Beauty.

According to The New York Times, lipstick sales have soared up to forty percent in the last few months. Why? It could have something to do with the Leading Lipstick Indicator, a term coined by Leonard Lauder (Chairman of Estee Lauder Companies) after lipstick sales doubled following 9/11. He observed that cosmetic purchases are a way to gauge economic status. When it’s shaky”, he said, “sales increase as women boost their mood with inexpensive lipstick purchases instead of $500 slingbacks.” In the midst of gloom we look for ways to feel good and its no secret that looking good tends to make us feel better.  And at less than $2.50 an issue (for subscribers) I can’t think of a more enjoyable or affordable way to help us do just that.

So what can we expect from this first-of-its-kind magazine? Everything from green makeovers, anti-aging alternatives, beauty tips, hottest trends, affordable finds, celebrity features, eco-event coverage and much more. The premier issue covers a wide range of natural and organic products from Burt’s Bees lip balm to Revolution Organics new skin care line.  You’ll find articles featuring celebs Josie Maran and Olivia Wilde (cover model and lead actress on Fox TV drama, House), discover quotes from John Masters, Jamal Hamadi, Suki Kramer and Organic chefs like Colombe Jacobsen-Derstine; articles on how to choose products for your baby, healthy teas, “beauty foods” and acupuncture.

Visionary and Editor-In-Chief, Rona Berg is no novice when it comes to high profile glossies or beauty. She played an integral role on the ELLE launch team where she supervised and directed every editorial aspect from conception to fruition.  As former Editorial Director at ELLE, Beauty Editor at The New York Times Magazine, best-selling author and engaging speaker, she brings vast experience and talent to the table. Her work has been featured in Vogue, Cosmopolitan, SELF and InStyle (just to name a few).  She’s made hundreds of TV and radio apperances, speaks regularly at ISPA conventions and this past Spring was the breakout beauty speaker at Global Green Expo 2008.

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of asking Rona some questions about the launch:

Q: Organic Beauty is truly the first of its kind, especially since it will sit on newsstands amongst heavy hitter beauty glossies like Allure, Marie Claire, ELLE, Vogue and others (many of which you’ve worked with). Why do you feel as though now is the perfect time to launch this kind of magazine?

A: Even though it may seem like a bad time to launch a magazine, it’s a good time to launch this one!

Green is no longer a trend it’s a lifestyle. On a global scale, we’re more concerned about protecting the environment than ever before. We may be consuming less, but we are reading labels more. We want to look good, but we also want our products to be good for us. Over the past year, when I travel around the country to speak about beauty, young women and mainstream moms are suddenly asking questions and voicing concerns about the health issues surrounding cosmetic ingredients.

Plus, the natural and organic personal-care market is one of the few areas showing consistent growth at the moment. Over the past year, Americans spent $7 billion on natural and organic personal-care products. According to the Organic Consumers’ Association, there’s an astounding 39 percent annual growth in the natural and organic sector of the cosmetic industry! Statistics on cosmetic surgery and injectables are down, as women look for more natural alternatives, which they will find in Organic Beauty. So even in a difficult economy, I’m optimistic.

Q: Who is this magazine geared towards?

A: Everyone! Seriously, I believe that women from 20 to 65, from all across the country, are potential Organic Beauty readers. We want to show them how to incorporate aspects of healthy green beauty into their lives.

Q: How does Organic Beauty differ from any conventional or eco mag we’ve seen before?

A: Organic Beauty is a smart, stylish, national consumer magazine that covers natural, organic, and eco-friendly beauty, and all roads that lead to it, inside and out. It is not granola-crunchy—there are other publications that do that, and they do it well. It is the only mainstream green beauty magazine out there. Think green Allure.

I also bring a unique background to this launch: I am an experienced beauty writer/editor, author of two books on beauty—“Beauty: The New Basics,” and “Fast Beauty: 1000 Quick Fixes,” and I was trained at the New York Times magazine, where I wrote the beauty column. In addition to our gorgeous photography and design, we will provide our readers with solid, well-sourced, credible stories. Substance is as important as style, which isn’t always the case.

Q: There is currently much popularity and growth in the natural/ organic beauty market, which is wonderful, but it has brought with it mass consumer confusion about what “is” and what “isn’t” pure, natural, green, eco-friendly, organic beauty. What type of criteria is in place at Organic Beauty to ensure the promotion of truly organic products and sift through the greenwashing?

A: You’re right, there is a lot of “woo-woo” out there! There has been a lot of scary news about potentially harmful ingredients, and a lot of misleading info about how good the good ones are.

I am a strong believer in science, which is why I have pulled together an impressive team of journalists from across the country, who understand the importance of sourcing everything. We won’t make claims that we can’t back up, and we won’t promote those who do.

It’s extremely important to me that OB has integrity and credibility to become the smart resource for women who want to cut through the confusion and find truly natural products. We read labels on everything, and if a product is not truly natural—i.e., if it contains hot-button ingredients like parabens, mineral oils, talcs, toluene, formaldehyde, sulfates, PEGS, etc.–we won’t cover it. Our writers are pros, and I am in the process of establishing an un-affiliated expert advisory board that will help us, too.

Q: Is the magazine itself eco-friendly?

A: Our paper is recycled, and our ink is eco-friendly Enviroink, made from renewable resources.

Q: Olivia Wilde, gorgeous actress and House star graces your

first cover. Can we expect other celebs to appear in Organic Beauty pages?

A: Yes, we have a lot of support and great contacts in the celeb world, and you can expect to see a celebrity cover on every issue. We look for stars who have an authentic green story to tell. (Olivia shares her natural beauty secrets, and the green initiatives she’s taken on the set of ‘House’.)

We also have a regular column by fashion and celebrity makeup artist Christy Coleman, about how to green your makeup bag. And we have a paparazzi page, where we will cover eco-events like the Environmental Media Awards, eco-designer fashion shows, and more. This month, our “Drink Your Way Gorgeous” column, “Elixir,” covers the hottest organic teas in Hollywood.

Q: What types of articles, tips and features can we look forward to seeing in the premier issue?

A: We have an organic beauty news section where we cover news, new products and trends, and companies that are reformulating to remove parabens, phthalates, and more. We cover the latest sulfate-free shampoos, and offer natural alternatives to Botox, gorgeous green makeovers, warm and spicy winter skincare, natural body balms and butters.

We have an investigative piece—“Is your makeup hazardous to your health?,” Indonesian beauty secrets, our Hot 12 Superfoods for healthy skin, natural and organic beauty bargains, how to shop smart for natural and organic products, an interview with future eco-empire builder Josie Maran—“The Green Glamor Queen.” We will also cover Sustainable Style—this month features a couple who have recycled over 20 tons of tractor inner tubes into stylish handbags! And we have columns on Eco-Kids & Family, Beauty & Well-Being, and so much more.

Q: I couldn’t be more excited about the launch and can’t wait to get my copy! When & where can we find Organic Beauty?

A: We launch everywhere on December 30, and your readers can check out our website,, where they can (eventually!) find a Table of Contents, click on bits from our premier issue, and subscribe.

Written by Stancie Wilson

Stancie Wilson is an avid researcher who’s passionate about organics and the personal care industry. She’s not a hippie or treehugger (though nothing wrong with that), she’s a modern working woman who loves spreading the word about truly pure and stylish products, helping educate others about the dangers of toxic ingredients and who’s tired of rampant greenwashing.

She’s Co-Founder and Editor of Fig+Sage™ [], the go-to online resource for discovering hip organic & fab eco finds (with a heavy emphasis on organic beauty), Green Editor for Pricegrabber’s ShopGreen site [] and was the first to be awarded the 'Eco-Friendly Expert Maven' title by where her recommendations are followed by millions of shoppers.

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