Excited about the launch of our new matte finishing powder, we spoke to founder Gloria Noto about what inspired her to launch her line of natural and ethical cosmetics, why our translucent powder is so special, and what direction she hopes to take NOTO Botanics in the future.
What initially led you to create your own line?
I have been mixing scents and cosmetics for myself and my makeup kit for years. Understanding how ingredients are either medicine or poison for your well-being started to become a huge interest of mine. In addition to my growing interest in being connected to what I bring into my life, I took some time off in Thailand where I began to really evaluate what my future would look like. While taking time away, I got news of my big sister getting cancer. It was a huge turning point of reflection for me. I decided that inspiring others with a genuine interest in well being and passionate living was the direction I wanted to go in. I followed my bliss and launched NOTO botanics, which is not only a natural cosmetic brand but also a lifestyle brand that brings in community and cultivates culture with different gatherings, interview features, and community offerings. I wanted to celebrate a mindful and fun way of living for everyone to enjoy. Looking good on the outside is just as important as feeling good on the inside.
As a small business owner and one focused on sustainability and community, what are your long term aspirations?
I hope to continue to build community and celebrate and support those who are working towards a goal of greater intent and social and eco awareness. I also hope to grow NOTO into a strong brand that is able to inspire and communicate the idea that self expression comes in all forms and all identities. Also, we are launching a new oil in a few weeks that is a complete non-profit product. 100 percent of the profits from sales will go towards funding and supporting activist based organizations and media. I want NOTO to not only allow people to look good, but be a part of doing good.
We’re constantly in shock over the natural beauty industry’s use of plastic packaging – it seems the focus is still very much on what goes on our body, with very little concern for environmental impact. You’ve made it pretty clear that you concern yourself with not only what goes into your line, but also on using low waste packaging. Why do you think most natural beauty brands haven’t gone there yet and has that always been a focus for you or was it something that came to you after you launched?
Sadly I believe it’s because they want to save a few pennies. It costs more to have better quality packaging. That is the reality, but I think business have to look at the bigger picture impact and figure out what matters more, taking as much as you can or maybe giving back a bit. Even if that means not making as much money but not destroying things along the way.
In your Noto Story you say that you “strive to create impact through action – via non-profit support for those in need, the arts, and equality,” tell us a bit about that and what Noto Botanics is doing to create impact.
As mentioned in my long term goals, I hope NOTO can continue to support actions and awareness towards environmental and social concerns. Whether that is through the type of imagery we create in our branding, the non-profit products that we will create to help support organizations, and the events and fundraisers that we will curate, including a series of panel discussions that we hope will bring up important conversations and foster community.
We’re pretty intrigued by off-beat or unexpected skincare rituals – do you have any secret routines you’re willing to share?
Apple cider vinegar acts as an amazing toner on pimples – it helps calm and clean them. Add a little bit on a q-tip and apply in areas that need some help.
I also like to use coffee bean oil on my face for a bit of a skin awakener.
We’re excited to have Noto in the line-up and this new powder. Will you tell us a bit about it and why it’s so special?
It’s so special because it has just a couple of ingredients and does the trick of taking away excess shine, but still leaves your skin looking soft. Sometimes powders can leave a dry looking residue, but ours keeps your skin fresh. Also it’s all natural. What more could you want??
What’s up next in 2017 for Noto Botanics?
We are throwing our first fundraiser to launch our newest product, Agender Oil, which is our first non-profit product. This oil is for ALL OVER hair – that means ALLLLL over – and body. The organic hemp oil is paired with the perfect balance of lavender and vetiver and is for both men and women.
To celebrate the launch of this oil, we are throwing a fundraiser for Planned Parenthood and will have a silent art auction to support the organization. Myself, Ashleigh Parsons of Alma, and Brittany Bush will be hosting the evening Feb 18th at space 15 twenty. We've lined up some incredible artists such as Deanna Templeton, Tasya Van Ree, Jordan Sullivan, and many others. I am super excited about this night as I have felt a great need to figure out how I can give back to my community in the ways I know how – this is one way for me to attempt that.
Portrait by Ramon Felix