When Cristina Carlino launched Philosophy, she created a brand that was about more than cute packaging and nicely scented body washes (though the Falling in Love fragrance is pretty heavenly). In fact, the brand aims to inspire women from both inside and out, using product bottles to pass along messages of hope or friendship while using simple yet effective ingredients. Of course, behind Philosophy is a woman with a philosophy: create a better world, one small step at a time.
"I'm having my life be used for greater good -- and new projects just show up," says Carlino who sold the company in 2007 but remains busy as ever.
Instead of the corner office, she now draws inspiration from her life as a mom to Grace, her eight-year-old daughter. "I plan my life around her calendar, not my own," admits Carlino who lives in Phoenix, AZ with her husband. (Not coincidentally, her daughter shares the name of Philosophy's bestselling Amazing Grace perfume, though the scent came first.)
To honor Grace, she recently published an interactive journal called "The Changing Room: A Mother's Journal of Gratitude to Her Little Girl," where parents can log memories about their own kids. Proceeds from the sale of each journal go towards the Joyful Heart Foundation, which benefits survivors of sexual assault, child abuse and domestic violence (it was started by her friend and actress Mariskay Hargitay). She's also launched She Colors My Day, an awareness campaign that raises funds for women's cancer charities through song downloads, art sales and T-shirts.
She hasn't, however, abandoned her beauty roots. Carlino is still an ambassador for Philosophy on the QVC, and incorporates the products into her daily routine. "Everything about my life in the morning is sun protection, and everything about my life in the evening is about retinoids," she says. Her beauty routine is simple: "You don't need 20 products, you just need the ones that work."
She's got a similar no-sweat approach toward diet and exercise, and says it's her spontaneous exercise routine like playing outside with her daughter or walking around New York City where she spends her summers that keeps her motivated to stay fit. "I've struggled with weight most of my adult life, I stay fit by not consciously exercising," says Carlino. In addition, she takes a daily multivitamin along with a fish oil tablet, while keeping a loose count of the day's calories. "If I go over a certain amount it's about 1,500 [calories] I'm just going to blow up like a balloon," she admits. Overall, though, she says she spends much less time worrying about everything: "It's so much easier to be older -- we should treasure age."
Carlino is planning her next moves but won't reveal too much about her upcoming plans. She does explain that her new venture is based on forecasting fashion and beauty trends, something she's always been good at. For one, Carlino points out that in the future women will be eager to have clothing that makes them feel good but won't overly concerned with what's on the runways (i.e. fewer fashionistas in the making). "There will be more of a trend according to persona -- so the athlete will learn to dress as the athlete and the professional as a professional," she says. "We will become more of who we are." Carlino says she's seeing this in the beauty world already. "We're already seeing this trend with celebrities wanting to go all natural," she says. "It's all about makeup-optional skin."
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