The giveaway has ended. 

Hello my loves and Happy New Year! I know that I have been a bit absent, but now that the holidays are well and fully over (sigh), I am so very excited to be back and share my favorite products, discoveries and occasional unhinged ramblings. And to kick things off in grand style, I have something  really exciting to share. Victoria Fantauzzi of La Bella Figura and I hop into the wayback machine and talk our beauty history, loves and passions. And the best part? Two (!) lucky readers will have a chance to start the new year with the best skin ever with our amazing giveaway!

As my regular readers/Instagram followers might now, I am a truly huge fan of La Bella Figura. It is one of a very short list of superstar brands whose products I continue to repurchase and use in my daily routine, regardless of all my other skincare experiments. It is also the brand I always recommend to friends who are making a switch to green beauty: these are the products I know to work and work brilliantly. LBF’s recently expanded its offerings with the long-awaited day and night creams: the Vitamin C Powerhouse Crema Supernova for daytime and a luscious, healing night cream Crema Virtuosa, which features the latest It skincare ingredient, the healing and skin-regenerating Sangre de Drago extract.

Victoria and I share a passion for skincare that borders on obsession and we decided to find out how it all began and where we go from here. Read on for a glimpse into Victoria’s beauty history and check out my answers on the La Bella Figura blog.

Let’s go way back to our wild days when we didn’t care what we put on our skin or faces because we didn’t know any better. Can you remember what one thing started your beauty obsession? 
My grandmother used to bathe with a soap called Maja. It’s a Spanish black soap with a very classic scent that’s ultra feminine, a bit oriental and European. I would use it too and just feel sophisticated and luxurious after a long bath. My grandmother also used a powder that came in a paper container with a large body puff. I loved the scent of her and remember wrapping my arms around her just to smell that particular scent I always associated with Spain. I really started paying attention to what my grandmother, aunt and mom wore for scent and watched them applying their makeup very carefully. I learned a lot of neat little tricks.
What was your signature look when you were twenty? What you not step out of the house without putting on? 
I pretty much looked like a wild raccoon with thick black rimmed eyes, always. I mean I looked pretty damn scary. I used to buy those red Maybelline eyeliner pencils and melt the the tips over an open flame or a match to make the tip creamier, therefore darker. My mom used to say I looked like an angry raccoon and I have the pictures to prove it. I never stepped out of the house without my brick brown L’oreal lipstick eventually switching to Black Honey by Clinique. I was always dripping in head to toe earth tones like a lot of women in the early 90’s. It was not attractive one bit.
If I were to scroll through your high school year book, what would I see?
Me being pretty damn rebellious. I didn’t dress like anyone else and looked like an oddball choosing to wear black all the time. My mom hated it and once my grandmother came over and found all my perfectly ripped jeans and threw them in the trash. I was livid, but just went to the second hand store and collected new jeans to rip up. The funny thing is I still brought home A’s, never did bad things and had an awesome group of friends so all that worrying my family did over how “weird” I looked was for nothing because I was a real square. I just didn’t like all the neon colors girls were wearing during the Cindy Lauper days.
If you could recall any musical icon that inspired your look who would that be? 
Madonna, no doubt! Even though I loved The Smiths, The Cure, House Music and Prince, it was Madonna who came in and changed everything for me. Until then there wasn’t a female pop star or musician that was confident enough to do her own thing and was completely unconventional while exuding such sex appeal. You could argue that Marilyn Monroe flexed that type of power, but it was actually almost a hidden sex appeal she had because she wasn’t blatantly expressing herself as an independent woman that was enjoying her blossoming sexuality. Madonna just blew everyone away with her attitude and confidence and while I would never have worn a brassiere and tutu I sure as hell did wear an armful of black rubber bracelets and teased up hair with a massive bow! I think a lot of us “good Catholic girls” wanted to scream out loud like Madonna, but were too afraid. She truly was an inspiration for us to accept ourselves as young women with opinions, brains and the guts to express ourselves. I’ll always have a fondness for that lady.
What habits did you used to practice that you cringe about now?
Probably the worst habit of all time and that is sleeping in your makeup. I didn’t know better then and no one ever told me this was in fact the most damaging thing I was doing to my skin. I don’t care how late, tired or inconvenienced I am I will never go to bed with a day’s worth of makeup now. It’s the biggest of all skin sins. I never ever smoked, but I was often in places where everyone else smoked so in a million years I wouldn’t compromise my health or skin and be in that situation. It’s the one thing about Europe that I dislike and makes me cringe, so many people still socially smoke and it’s quite common to light up at restaurants and cafes. I’m often the weird lady in a corner with her back turned blocking a puff of smoke from wafting towards my salad.
What beauty mistake do you see some women repeating over and over that you’d like to see stop? 
Wearing too much makeup is the biggest mistake I see. My opinion is that makeup should enhance your natural features and on days you want it to be fun then that’s cool and wonderful, but often I find many women wear it as a mask to conceal their great features and it actually looks worse than not wearing makeup at all. I hate seeing young women covering up their skin with a pound of foundation and all that contouring, especially for daytime. I just want to hand them a bottle of Barbary Fig Seed Oil and encourage them to focus on their skin health. Sometimes just a touch of concealer works great with a pretty pop of blush and a light reflective highlighter. Or to be impactful and coquettish just black mascara and a crimson lip is classic and subtly sexy. I really love all the natural makeup lines incorporating skin loving ingredients into their makeup. I am a big fan of multifunctional beauty products and one of the things we wanted to do when we launched our small color collection was to design makeup that served as skincare first and an enhancer second. Soft and not hardcore pigment because we want to our customers to think, “gorgeous skin first and makeup second.” You can also layer on color if you want more of a pop.
Let’s go into the future. What futuristic product would solve all of your problems? 
There are so many great natural products out there these days, it’s insane. I feel so excited to try products sometimes because I love what others are doing so for me a dream futuristic product (that wouldn’t solve all of my problems, but perhaps a few) would be a shampoo that actually made your hair stronger, thicker and grow twice as fast. I have thin hair and I want thick luxurious hair. Can someone please invent an age-defying shampoo with all natural ingredients?
What do you tell hardcore non-believers about your love of natural products? 
The truly wonderful thing is that by now we’ve seemed to get past the association that natural beauty is only for hippies. I ask clients to tell me their problems or their biggest concerns and then I guide them towards products that are going to treat and target those concerns. I don’t want to sell fluff or nonsense to anyone because that’s what I’ve hated for so long. It’s easy to walk into a department store and be seduced by beautiful packaging and incredible scent, but at the end of the day if a product doesn’t target my concern then it’s just a waste of money. I want to be a part of the solution when it comes to beauty care so I tell clients, “try it for four weeks and then get back to me.” It’s so important to know that your skin can’t get back on track with one or two uses of any product, it’s a process. It’s pretty likely I hear from them in a week or two and they are already thrilled with the results they’re experiencing. After a month or so there is no doubt that going on a beauty regimen that promotes health and renewal with high quality natural products is what our customers needed to see their gorgeous skin again. It makes me happy to hear their hope about beautiful skin restored.  I don’t try to convince anyone of anything because that’s not how my brain works in discovering new things and I think most people need to let go of fears and stereotypes in order to experience something great. I mean that can be said of most anything not just talking about high performing skincare and makeup now.
So cool, right? Also: apparently Victoria and I share a love of Madonna and give contouring some serious side-eye. No surprise there, I suppose. And now: the part I know you have all been waiting for! The Big HH/LBF Giveaway! See the image above? The one with LBF’s legendary, every-season-and-any-skintype Barbary Fig Seed Oil, the heavenly Elysian Fields (if you are not on Instagram you might not know that I am obsessed with this exquisite, hydrating, refreshing and just all-around lush hair and body spray) and the two Cremas? You and a friend can win all of them. Each. Here are the rules:
  • Comment on this post and share your favorite LBF product.
  • Name a friend who you would like to win along with you (because sharing is caring)
  • Follow both me and LBF on Instagram
  • Comment on the giveaway post with favorite product and tag a friend who you want to win
  • Both you and the friend need to be following us on Instagram
  • Giveaway is open internationally and will run until Wednesday, 6pm EST.

Good luck, loves! HH xx

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