My Beauty Addiction: A Timeline
Hi. 👋 My name is Katia and I’m a beauty addict.
How did I get here? What led led me to found Mirra? Well, here’s a timeline.
* * *
Age four and I’m already obsessed.
I’d beg my mom to take me with her to Nordstrom so that I could run from beauty counter to beauty counter to scavenge for samples. Miniature lipsticks, fragrances, moisturizers --- to me, they were candy.
My addiction continued into elementary school. I discovered DIY beauty recipes, and would invite friends over (read: force them) to make soap bars, face scrubs, and masks. Growing up in a persian household, I’d mix yogurt and rosewater into just about anything and put it on my face. 💁🌹
I’m officially a hoarder.
I’d stuff hotel lotion and shampoo bottles into my backpack as if they were gold. I organized my “hotel beauty essentials” by shape and color underneath my sink. If you were lucky, I’d gift you a Four Seasons shampoo for your birthday.
Once I was old enough to wander around the mall on my own, I found myself pouring over the different scents in Bath & Body Works, practically drenching myself in “Sweet Pea” everything on Sunday afternoons.
Then came high school. Aka, Sephora. My gateway drug was the fragrance aisle. Time and again, I’d end up with so many pumps of perfume on my body that I’d leave sneezing and itching, but like a true addict, I’d come back the next week and spray myself to death all over again.
After one too many sneezes, I decided that I’d had enough of perfume. I ventured into makeup. For longer than I care to admit, I thought eyeshadow went underneath the eye, and that bronzer was equivalent to foundation. I was an Oompa Loompa, and I was sure I was cute. ✌️
By junior year of highschool, I mastered black eyeliner and finally shed my “unibrow girl” image (story for another time). I discovered the power of a hair straightener and started frying my frizz on a semi-regular basis. I interjected AP study sessions with parties, and did everything I could to be seen as more than a nerd (spoiler alert: it didn’t work).
During my third year at Stanford, I spent a quarter abroad in Paris and fell in love with beauty all over again. Specifically, French skincare.
There was a pharmacy on every block, each one complete with a droolworthy collection of skincare. At the time, I also was seeing a change in my skin. My breakouts were more frequent, my skin was perpetually dry, and my cheeks were less full. It was then that I embarked on my now obsessive journey to find a skincare routine that works.
My acne was getting worse. My skin was always inflamed, and my fear of aging was becoming more intense. The time my friends spent tanning, I’d spend buried under a pound of SPF researching the latest in skincare.
I spent hundreds of dollars on prescription acne medications, topical “anti-aging” creams, and on other products that burned my skin. Send help.
The more research I did on skincare, the more questions I had.
Which product will fight acne, but not over dry my skin? How can I protect my skin from aging? Is retinol bad for your health? Why is my skin always cracking? Is everyone’s skin also this itchy? What’s glycolic acid? Can I combine that with niacinamide? Should I make my skincare at home? In what order should you apply your skincare products? Can you combine products from different brands? What does the “anti-aging” claim even mean? Do I have to go on Acutane, or is there another option? Which foods affect your skin? How can I avoid toxic chemicals if I don’t even know what to look for? What’s even in my products?
My obsessive personality has kicked in.
Earlier this year, I embarked on a journey to bring trusted skincare recommendations to women. After interviewing over 100+ women, I found that consistently, women didn’t have a trusted source to go to for skincare advice. I distinctly remember one woman who told me that she was forced to become her own expert because she felt like she couldn’t be heard. It broke my heart.
Why is it so hard for us to find the right beauty routine? I have a lot of thoughts on that that I’ll save for a different time.
In June, with the help of a few lovely people, we launched Mirra as a weekly newsletter with the ultimate goal to be much more. Our primary goal this year was to start creating a community of women who really care about their skin --- and by extension, beauty & wellness. Together, we are curating a community of women who believe in transparency from brands, honest ingredients, and exposing snake oil for what it really is. We’ve now organically grown to a community of over 13k, and we’re incredibly excited to share with you the exciting products we have in store for you in 2018. ✨