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Interview

Carlota Rodriguez-Benito, As She Is

Three college majors. Four languages. Six countries. Nine years of ballet. One book — so far.

Three college majors. Four languages. Six countries. Fourteen years of ballet. One book — so far. Carlota Rodriguez-Benito is an astounding young woman with an incredibly promising future in beauty industries across the globe. After traveling 32 countries, Carlota found herself captivated by the transcendence of universally authentic beauty across miles of ocean and land. While finishing her degrees in International Relations, French and Russian, she decided to write a whole book about it. Enter: Beauty As It Is.

Like the simple cover binding the pages, Beauty As It Is sheds the masks and myths of the beauty sector. One of Carlota’s most profound findings is that consumers “will now purchase skincare and color cosmetics with a positive mentality to celebrate their features and not hide behind them.” Sound familiar? It seems like the French way is becoming every way throughout the world! Trèsmagnifique! Read below to discover BWB’s inside scoop on what “beauty as it is” really means for Carlota Rodriguez-Benito.

It’s no doubt that you are a talented and young author! How has your youth served you in writing Beauty As It Is?

I think that my youth has only been a plus along this process. I started off interviewing people for the book thinking my young age of 22 would be a drawback and that people would not take me seriously. On the contrary, a lot of people wanted to help me, invested time and energy into my book, and connected me to their professional network as they saw my passion and curiosity for the beauty industry at such a young age.

I felt compelled to write a book stressing the importance of understanding that beauty is not only something that we see, rather it is also something that we feel.

I like to think that my young age gave the book a different outlook on the beauty industry, one of a woman who is just on the cusp of Generation Z and Millennials. With technology weaving into every facet of our lives—including the way we perceive ourselves, brand ourselves, and view people in general—I felt compelled to write a book stressing the importance of understanding that beauty is not only something that we see, rather it is also something that we feel – through anecdotes, research, and recommendations from professionals from all regions of the world. For that reason, I believe, “Beauty is a choice, and the moment you choose to feel beautiful, you are beautiful.”

What made you choose beauty as the interweaving thread among cultures?

I grew up living in the US, Switzerland, Mexico, Spain, France, and Russia. Being raised in different cultures, belief systems, and world views while attending international schools; the question of how different societies around the world perceive, feel, and consume beauty intrigued me. It interested me to uncover what it was about beauty that gave so much power to certain individuals.

I was a prima ballerina until the age of 18 and danced in every city I lived in until that point. Dancing is where I realized that beauty was not centered around what you looked like, rather, how you radiated – let it be on stage or in life’s daily settings. In other words, the energy you give off to others, determines how beautiful they perceiveyou.

What are some of the most memorable stories (or best beauty advice!) you’ve learned while writing this book?

Although it is hard for me to pinpoint the most memorable (because to me all the anecdotes and recommendations are extraordinary) these are some that come to mind:

1. Yalitza Aparicio’s and Karla Martinez de Salas’ story about representation and inclusion in the beauty industry: Full story in Chapter 4

For this story I was lucky enough to speak to both Yalitza and Karla, making this story one of my favorites, as it inspired the life of so many underrepresented people in the conversation of beauty and the industry as a whole.

Karla Martinez de Salas, the Editor-in-Chief of Vogue Mexico and Latin America, decided for the first time to put forth the underrepresented local beauty of Mexican society in Vogue by choosing to put Yalitza Aparicio Martínez, the starring actress in Oscar-winning movie, Roma, on the Vogue’s twentieth year anniversary January 2019 issue cover of Vogue Mexico and Latin America.

2. Olga Lorencin’s recommendation on how to be a smart skincare consumer:Full story in Chapter 10

Olga Lorencin is known as “The Acid Queen” by many people in Hollywood. She is the owner of Olga Lorencin Skin Care Clinic and CEO of Olga Lorencin Skin Care. She has great recommendations on what to look for and what questions to ask when buying skincare. Ultimately, you should be able to have a good and reasonable explanation as to why you are buying a brand’s products. As she says, “Your skin does not need that much!” However, it does need the right products.

3. Anastasia Soare’s advice on how to succeed in the beauty industry:Full story inChapter 11

Anastasia Soare, also known as the “Eyebrow Queen,” is one of the most successful self-made women in the beauty industry, being the driving force behind Anastasia Beverly Hills. I love her story because she has given so many people, including myself, a vision of what success can look like and how to get there.

My favorite quote that Anastasia said to me:

“I owe everything to everyone. To every customer, every friend, every single person who supported me from day one. I would not be the same Anastasia I was thirty years ago without them. Yes, I built this incredible business, and I’m very proud. But I will not stop doing what I did three decades ago—work as hard as my first day every day. My work is my life. If you can equate the two, you’ll enjoy every moment.”

Teresa Deely

Teresa Deely is graduating from Columbia University with majors in English and Creative Writing. She is a freelance writer and marketing assistant working for clients in the wellness, jewelry, creative, and sports industries. She believes that one’s skin is yet another canvas and vehicle for art, and has loved styling her hair and applying makeup from a young age. Spending much of her time in educating youth and leading enrichment programs for children, she is highly motivated in discovering new ways to care for herself and sharing them with others.

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