JOSIE MARAN has landed some of the world's most competitive modeling gigs: the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, the Victoria's Secret catalog, and cover after cover of Glamour, Maxim, Self, and other big-name glossies. These days, though, the porcelain-faced beauty, 33, focuses on promoting her eco-makeup brand and raising her 5-year-old daughter, Rumi Joon. A chunk of the proceeds from her company goes to a variety of charities, including ones that help protect polar bears and argan forests.
Q: Why did you start an eco-makeup line?
A: I used to ask makeup artists, "Is there anything that's healthier or more natural?" and they'd always say it's impossible to do. I really wanted it for myself and didn't understand why it couldn't be done. So I did it.
A: I went to a lot of conferences. I talked to people in the natural-beauty realm about ingredients, and they introduced me to labs. So I went to the labs with all the makeup that I wanted but that I considered toxic and said, "I want all these products but without the bad stuff." By talking to a lot of chemists and the Environmental Working Group, I started understanding what the toxic ingredients are. I worked on my line for three years with four labs. It took a long time because they’d never done that before, pull out those ingredients to make a good product. But it was very well worth it.
Q: So what were the ingredients you didn’t want in there?
A: You’ve got to pull out the parabens. But I really think the most toxic ingredients in the world are synthetic fragrances. None of my products ever have synthetic fragrances. Or talc or phlalates or . . . there’s a lot of controversy over what is a petrochemical but I do my best not to have petrochemicals.
Q: What’s so bad about synthetic fragrances?
A: What I’ve read has really scared me. It turns boys into girls.