Make-up artist, entrepreneur of herself, leader of a female team. But, above all, a woman. Francesca Ragone – lookmaker and founder of the brand Beyouty– speaks to LATEST Magazine without secrets to talk about the launch of her first line of natural, genderless and cruelty-free skincare. Five products for five fundamental steps in male and female beauty routine: micellar water, eye contour, snail slime cream (which does not harm their health in any way), moisturizing mask, plumping spray. Everything that inspired the birth of this ethical and heartfelt project – among other things at the dawn of a historical moment of great complexity, such as the outbreak of the Covid-19
pandemic – is revealed in the following interview. An interview in which Francesca talks about herself without filters, taking off the role of CEO and entrepreneur to reveal the noblest aspect of Beyouty skincare: donating part of the revenues to charity to those who, like her, are facing the long process of “pregnancy of the heart”.
You created your skincare line and started a new business project as the world stood still due to Covid-19. What inspired you and how did you manage to turn an idea into a concrete project?
The creation of my skincare line is a project that comes from afar, in particular from my needs as a professional to make my clients experience a make-up session starting from a healthy “canvas”, able to reveal natural beauty in a unique customized way. Skin is our largest organ, it is through it that we feel the world and emotions. It protects us, accompanies us over time. For this reason, I wanted universal products that did not create segments or labels. Turning an idea into a concrete project was not easy, especially in a time of crisis, a forced stop, a new unexpected scenario that has put everything and everyone into question. Yet, in this moment of total darkness I found the strength to get up by clinging to a great awareness: the desire to continue to give “caresses” of beauty, just as I love to call them. They heal body and soul: seeing yourself beautiful, feeling comfortable in your own skin makes us live better. To date, there have been many sacrifices and investments. Finding the right and most ethical formula possible, the choice of suppliers, the graphics in line with my message, the launch of a product in a market already full of competitors is very difficult. However, I felt that this idea was right above all because it would help others.
Turning an idea into a concrete project was not easy, especially in a time of crisis, a forced stop, a new unexpected scenario that has put everything and everyone into question.
Yes. Yet, in this moment of total darkness I found the strength to get up by clinging to a great awareness: the desire to continue to give “caresses” of beauty, just as I love to define them. They heal body and soul: seeing ourselves beautiful, feeling comfortable in our own skin makes us live better. To date, there have been many sacrifices and investments. Finding the right and most ethical formula possible, the choice of suppliers, the graphics in line with my message, the launch of a product in a market already full of competitors is very difficult. However, I felt that this idea was right above all because it would help others.
Your skincare line fits into a niche in the beauty industry where being ethical is essential. You started by thinking in terms of gender fluidity: why is skincare essential to “feel” yourself and your identity regardless of gender?
I don’t like putting labels, I am moved by a deep sense of freedom. I have fought against prejudice for years, I still do. I believe it is essential – in a world that screams in the name of inclusiveness and equality – not only to convey a message but also to make it tangible. My line was born thinking of people beyond any social stereotype. Loving yourself, taking the time to take care of yourself is something for everyone. Going further, reaching the heart and not stopping at appearance is inherent in my idea of beauty, never an end in itself but which communicates who you are to the world.
From young to mature skin, have you thought of a skincare line that can embrace a complete segment: how important and why is it for your brand to offer an inclusive solution?
Ethical beauty for me is inclusive. With my work, I enhance the natural beauty of people, I try to bring out the personality, the soul of each one and deliver it to the world. We are unique beings and each of us has the right to express himself, always respecting the other, without the fear of not being accepted. Beyouty was born from the need to share with others the look therapy path, experienced firsthand. The look therapy helps to know each other and reveal the personality to oneself and to the outside world. The purpose is to free oneself from what does not belong to us, something we often follow just to please others, maybe for fashion, to not feel outsiders. If we are sure of who we are and show it without fear, nothing and no one can ever make us feel out of place.
Ethically right, even towards animals. One of the products in your skincare line is snail slime cream. Snails that are not killed, but caressed. How did you manage to find the farm in question? Who guided you?
To create my skincare line, but also for all the other products available in my online shop, I relied on trusted suppliers and Made in Italy companies I have known for years and with whom I collaborate assiduously. They also supported and guided me in the choice of producers of raw materials, aware of my obsession with quality and transparency. In particular, the farm is in Campania, the land where I was born and grew up. This choice was no accident either. Knowing that snails are caressed and that they give us a very high-quality serum is also a gesture of love.
Beauty stands for respect for everything that concerns us, but above all for what surrounds us. For me, it is crucial not to physically or emotionally harm anyone. For this reason, Beyouty skincare could only be cruelty free.
Let’s add that your products are not tested on animals. Indeed, the first tester was you. What were you looking for from your skincare and how did you make the quality of what you expected possible?
Yes, I have personally tested the products for years before coming to their production. From the effective but at the same time delicate formulations, to the fragrances that recall the scent of good as that of children up to the packaging, everything is the result of experiments and sleepless nights. I wanted a skincare line suitable for all skin types (even the most sensitive), genderless, with a noble INCI, cruelty free, without harmful additives, effective and ideal not only for my clients but also for professionals in the beauty world. I wanted it to be a line made up of a few products to always carry with you, for a quick and easy beauty routine. I admit, I love taking care of myself but I’m also very lazy! I did a lot of research, I have always loved trying products, from the big designer brands to the less expensive ones up to organic. However, this time I wanted something different! In my cosmetic line, each product is perfect on its own but exceptional when used in combination with the others.
Each has its ideal combination. For this reason, when you buy my products you receive a brochure with my tips on the beauty routine to follow for excellent results.
Products suitable for everyone, yes, but customized to respect the uniqueness of each of us. Natural skincare without chemical additives also takes longer to obtain results. But in the long run it rewards and gives results. Thinking back to the continuous lockdowns that the world is experiencing, this message also fits into the historical context of continuous expectations in which we find ourselves. How do you live it?
I learned to welcome expectations as the necessary time to get to something more beautiful, an evolution. A moment to stop, reflect and start all over again. A time of value. Waiting is a constant in my life. I am actually a person who does not like to wait, I always wish that seconds would pass between thinking and realizing. Instead, it is as if fate were constantly putting my projects on standby. One in particular for over 12 years has lived only in my heart, that is motherhood. One step away from adoption, after years of waiting, Covid-19 has arrived and everything has stopped again.
A very hard blow for me and my husband, but which I have overcome once again by reworking the pain into strength and projecting it out of me in the form of love. And then it was a natural consequence to share my beauty “caresses”, donating part of the proceeds to charity.
You will donate part of the proceeds to charities that deal with adoptions, including “Il Mantello”. Why did you choose this cause? How do you think organizations should support women facing the process of adoption?
I chose “Il Mantello” because I know this association directly as it supports me in what I call “pregnancy of the heart” and which, in addition to helping adoptive parents and adopted children, also helps orphans living in foster homes in their countries of origin. And it is to these children that part of the sales proceeds will be donated. The adoption process is very complicated because, unlike a natural pregnancy, it lasts many, perhaps too many years. The support of organizations is essential for couples who choose to adopt, both from an emotional point of view and from a strictly bureaucratic point of view.
Helping a woman who faces this journey is not easy because each one arrives at this choice with a past experience of pain and suffering that, however similar to others it may appear from the outside, is unique. Organizations can above all help adoptive mothers not to feel “less mothers”, which often happens to those who experience the impossibility of a “natural” pregnancy, therefore psychological paths and sharing between women who live have experienced the same are very important experience. Because any pain, if shared, weighs half as much as any joy is worth double.
Devolverai parte dei ricavati ad associazioni benefiche che si occupano di adozioni, tra cui “Il Mantello”. Perché hai scelto questa causa? In che modo credi che le organizzazioni debbano supportare le donne che affrontano la trafila dell’adozione?
Ho scelto “Il Mantello” perché conosco direttamente questa associazione in quanto mi supporta in quella che chiamo “la gravidanza del cuore” e che oltre ad aiutare i genitori adottivi e i bambini adottati, aiuta anche gli orfani che vivono in case-famiglia nei loro paesi d’origine. Ed è a questi bambini che andrà devoluta una parte del ricavato delle vendite. Il percorso di adozione è molto complicato perché, a differenza di una gravidanza naturale, dura tanti, forse troppi anni. Il supporto delle organizzazioni è fondamentale per le coppie che scelgono di adottare, sia dal punto di vista emotivo sia dal punto di vista strettamente burocratico. Aiutare una donna che affronta questo viaggio non è facile perché ognuna arriva a questa scelta con un vissuto fatto di dolore e sofferenze che, per quanto simile ad altri possa apparire dall’esterno, è unico. Le organizzazioni possono soprattutto aiutare le madri adottive a non sentirsi “meno madri”, cosa che spesso succede a chi vive l’impossibilità di una gravidanza “naturale”, quindi importantissimi sono i percorsi psicologici e la condivisione tra donne che vivono hanno vissuto la medesima esperienza. Perché qualsiasi dolore, se condiviso, pesa la metà così come ogni gioia vale doppia.