Steph Ertem International Brand Manager RevitaLash (left) with Annemarie Mason of Kiara Cosmetics (right). Image supplied.
Long lashes are in demand these days, in fact a tube of RevitaLash Advanced Eyelash Conditioner is sold every 30 seconds around the world. The brand was founded in 2006 by US ophthalmologist, Michael Brinkenhoff, M.D. and was originally developed for his wife Gayle, while she was undergoing treatment for breast cancer and suffered hair loss. Today, RevitaLash is sold globally and here in Aotearoa it’s distributed by Annemarie Mason of Kiara Cosmetics both online and through a range of beauty retailers and salons.
While the brand has released several more products over the last decade, it’s the RevitaLash Advanced lash conditioned that they are best known for. The signature product is designed to give your lashes what they need to thrive naturally, all while being vegan-friendly, cruelty-free, and free of parabens, phthalates, fragrance, oil, and gluten. RevitaLash continues to honour Gayle’s legacy by donating a portion of proceeds to non-profit breast cancer initiatives year-round.
For Annemarie it’s a brand that she’s truly passionate about and we caught up with her to find out more about how she discovered RevitaLash, the charitable initiatives the brand is involved with here in New Zealand and what her top tips are for looking after your lashes?
How did you first discover RevitaLash Cosmetics and what led you to being the New Zealand distributor for the brand?
I was first introduced to RevitaLash Cosmetics back in 2011 at the NZ Hair & Beauty Expo. At the time I was studying to become a beauty therapist at the Elite School of Beauty & Spa. I was hired to work on a stand to earn some extra money while I was studying. I’ve always had short eyelashes naturally, so when I learnt about the product I’d be promoting on the stand at the expo I was so excited and I couldn’t wait to go home and try it out myself – and I’ve been using it ever since! RevitaLash Cosmetics captured my heart with their founding story, Dr Brinkenhoff first discovered it to help his beloved wife Gayle feel beautiful during her courageous fight against breast cancer. Their ongoing commitment to give back to Breast Cancer research and initiatives since is what truly makes this brand so special. Over the years following the expo I worked with RevitaLash Cosmetics both as a Beauty Therapist and in sales. Fast forward to 2017 and the opportunity arose for a new distributor to represent the brand in New Zealand. With a little encouragement from my partner and working with a great business mentor, I took over distribution in August 2017 under Kiara Cosmetics.
How has Revitalash’s Cosmetics following grown here since the brand was introduced?
RevitaLash Cosmetics has always been a global leader and beauty innovator since the creation of the original, lash conditioner, RevitaLash Advanced in 2006. The brand has continued to grow over its 15 year legacy due to its commitment to aid in the rejuvenation and revitalisation of lashes, brows and hair and their increasing range of phenomenal products that do so.
Since I took over the distributorship in 2017, we have cultivated beautiful relationships with the best beauty professionals, who stock the range right across the country. The increase of environmental stressors in recent years through pollution, work and family stress and of course, the pandemic, takes its toll on the physical body; a result of this being hair thinning and damage to lashes and brows. So now, more than ever, there is a need for the healthful, nourishing products RevitaLash Cosmetics continues to produce.
The pandemic has also seen us wear face masks whist out and about which has lead to an increased focus on eyes and brows and an increase in demand for cosmetics that enhance those areas.
The increasing demand for RevitaLash Cosmetics has led to Kiara Cosmetics being finalists for Best Emerging Business at both the 2019 and 2021 Westpac Business Awards too which I’m super proud of!
Revitalash Advanced is the brand’s best-selling lash conditioner.
Can you tell us about RevitaLash Cosmetics charitable efforts in New Zealand?
A core value of Kiara Cosmetics inspired by RevitaLash Cosmetics, is to make a positive impact on the lives of others.
RevitaLash Cosmetics Eternally Pink pledge allows us to donate both money and product, offering support 365 days a year to both ease the suffering of those dealing with a difficult cancer diagnosis, and to ultimately, find a cure.
Each October, the RevitaLash Advanced and RevitaBrow Advanced packaging turns pink, as part of their global giving initiative for Breast Cancer Awareness month. For every pink product sold in New Zealand we donate a month’s supply of our lash or brow conditioner to Look Good Feel Better New Zealand – supporting men, women and teens to face cancer treatment with confidence.
In 2018, one of my oldest childhood friends Gemma Delia was diagnosed with Breast Cancer at just age 30. We shared Gemma’s story through the RevitaLash Cosmetics New Zealand platform to help raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of breast cancer and to encourage other women, especially young women to regularly check their breasts for changes. Through Gemma, I learned about her ongoing limitations after her mastectomy and chemotherapy treatment. ACC funding doesn’t cover the costs of post cancer rehabilitation in New Zealand. The Pinc and Steel Foundation covered the cost of Gemma’s physio and put her through their ‘paddle on’ program – A stand up paddle board initiative run by Pinc and Steel trained physiotherapists. I visited Gemma after she had been out on the water and she was glowing! She had spent the last six months in hospital beds, doctors’ offices or homebound, so to get out on the water for her physio really helped bring her joy,
In 2019 we held our first fundraiser ‘EAT DRINK PINK’ raising over $11,800 for Pinc and Steel. In 2020, due to Covid, events weren’t an option, so the team got creative and we launched an ‘ETERNALLY PINK’ fundraising jumper with all profits donated to Pinc and Steel. In 2021, we were forced to pivot again and took our fundraiser online for ‘EMPOWER ME PINK’ donating $10 for every attendee to Pinc and Steel. We plan to bring back our live fundraiser in October this year, continue to support LGFB through the donation of products and continue to educate our RevitaLash community on being breast aware and checking for changes each month.
What are your top tips for getting and maintaining healthy lashes?
– Cleanse your eye area and lashes daily with a gentle cleanser – never go to bed with mascara on!
– Apply one swipe of RevitaLash Advanced Eyelash Conditioner once a day, every day to clean, dry lashes without fail! Warning – the results are addictive and you will receive lots of lash compliments from total strangers!
– If you love a good coat or two of mascara, look for one with nourishing ingredients. Try to avoid using waterproof mascara wherever possible.
– If you’re wanting a Lash Lift or Lash Extensions make sure you do your research and go to a well-trained technician or therapist.
– Reduce stress, nourish your mind and body and drink your water!
The RevitaLash Cosmetics products I use daily on my lashes include Micellar Water Lash Wash, Double Ended Volume Set and RevitaLash Advanced Eyelash Conditioner. All three are oil-free, full of nourishing, good for you ingredients, and are safe to use with both lash lifts and extensions. One of the things I often tell people is to keep their RevitaLash Advanced Lash Conditioner next to their toothbrush, that way you never forget to apply it each day!
What makes RevitaLash Advanced Eyelash Conditioner a must-have for your beauty routine?
I always joke that if I didn’t use RevitaLash Advanced I would probably have three eyelashes left on each eye! I’ve been a lash extension wearer since I was 18 so my lashes have been through a lot over the years. RevitaLash Advanced Eyelash Conditioner is a must have for me to keep my natural lashes nourished, strong and healthy to support my lash extensions.