One on One: Jane Iredale, President and Founder of Iredale Mineral Cosmetics

jane-iredale[Image: Courtesy of Jane Iredale]What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received?

‘Always do what you say you’re going to do.’ This not only builds a dependable and trustworthy reputation, but it also ensures that you don’t over-promise. If you know that you’ll have to follow through, you tend to measure your responses to new situations and projects. People will know they can count on you; in business, that’s invaluable.

Why did you create the BeautyPrep line?

Our clients asked for a cleanser, toner and moisturizer that work together with our makeup, so we launched those products in as natural a formula as possible. The cleanser lifts dirt and pollution, and doesn’t need to be rinsed off. The toner is full of fruit and vegetable extracts that hydrate and soothe the skin. The moisturizer contains a wonderful, calming ingredient, Eyebright, which reduces the appearance of undereye puffiness. It’s a simple, skin-loving ritual that complements existing regimens.

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What’s in the pipeline for the company?

Right now there’s a growing movement toward beauty from the inside out: You can effect just as much change in the skin, if not more, by eating well and supplementing your diet with skin-nourishing food. We can help this process with our nutritional supplement, Skin Accumax, which contains vitamins and plant nutrients in a synergistic blend. We’ve already seen incredible results, and we’re adding to our nutritional lineup later this month.

jane-iredale-dog-cookieDescribe your management style.

I’m hands-off. I like to find people who can do what’s asked of them, and let them at it. My job is to keep everyone interested and motivated.

Tell us about your hobbies.

I love gardening! The garden has become an inspiration for our makeup line—from colors to smells to taste, it’s a cornerstone. I also enjoy renovating old buildings. We moved our company into a refurbished school building, The Bryant, which was originally built in 1889. It was a great labor of love for which we received LEED Gold certification. I love to cook and entertain, and I also keep bees! Mine are the happiest bees alive, foraging on flowers, fruits and veggies right outside their hive. We jar the honey as gifts.

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Which social causes do you support?

We’ve directed our attention primarily towards women, animals and the environment, although we’ve also found room for some other good causes, especially in the arts. Our environmental organizations include Greenpeace, Wildlife Conservation Society and The Nature Conservancy as well as local organizations. In October, we’re celebrating 10 years of partnership with Living Beyond Breast Cancer, a national education and support organization whose mission is to connect people with trusted breast cancer information and a community of support. We sponsor a farmers market from May through October that supports farmers from a 100-mile radius. Our love of animals is directed to helping animals worldwide—wolves, polar bears, tigers, endangered frogs. Every species is stressed and would benefit from our help. Locally, we support the Berkshire Humane Society and, we’re proud to say, we have a cat spa named in our honor. In 2011, we designed and built a playground in our home town of Great Barrington called Giggle Park. The giggling hasn’t stopped yet! We believe in thinking locally, so we’re meaningful supporters of our local Community Center. Our staff is active in the community and, among others, is on the Boards of the following organizations:

* The Literacy Network, an organization dedicated to providing free education through one-on-one tutoring to residents over 16.

* Our local domestic violence center, Elizabeth Freeman

* The Operational Committee of ReStore

I also sit on the board of The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington.

Other local organizations we actively support with donations and participation are:

* Berkshire Grown (an organization supporting our local farms)

* Berkshire Botanical Gardens

* Fairview Hospital

* The Red Cross

Who is your mentor?

I haven’t had a business mentor except for my husband, who I would consider more as the Rock of Gibraltar! When I need a balanced point of view, he never fails. I did have a personal mentor, who convinced me years ago that I could manage to get a degree while working full time. So I was able to complete my BA at New York University and then my MA. Having that incredible experience gave me so much confidence. Going back to school was one of the most important things I’ve ever done. And my proudest moment was when my mother flew in from England to see me graduate in my cap and gown. I suppose I would say that all women are my inspiration. I see them balancing families and careers, tragedies and challenges and sometimes I wonder how they can continue to be so strong.

What’s your personal go-to makeup style?

I always use our PurePressed Base Mineral Foundation and although I change up on blush and eyeshadows, I never deviate from our PureLash Lash Extender and Conditioner and Longest Lash Thickening and Lengthening Mascara in Espresso. I’ll often put Tantasia on my legs as a moisturizer and for some color. I find I wear it year round.

Favorite city?


A Favorite film?

Brokeback Mountain

What would you scratch off your to-do list?


Which song sums you up?

‘I’m a Woman’ by Peggy Lee

Can’t leave the house without:

Turning out the lights!

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