Sandy Thinnes, Professional Makeup Artist, Beauty + Wellness Coach and Vapour Brand Ambassador, has been a makeup artist in Chicago for the past 20 years and is now helping women look and feel like their most vibrant selves through her mentoring business.
We sat down with Sandy to talk about the power of mindfulness and the importance of clean beauty.
What does clean beauty mean to you?
I like to define clean beauty as striving to be free from as many ingredients that can be harmful to the human body or one's well being. The ingredients are safer, use a nontoxic element as a baseline, and are backed by a standard that ensures attentive evaluation. It is beauty that is considerate, ethical, and fully transparent.
What prompted you to start your clean beauty journey?
In 2013 I had my first baby, and during her first year of life, she would develop crazy skin irritations that only steroids could cure. This experience prompted my research, and I learned so much about body and hair products.
I was still working for a global cosmetic brand and hadn't taken the opportunity to give cleaner cosmetics a chance. It all changed in 2019 when I left my Regional Trainer job at that company and began to uncover the information about how conventional ingredients in cosmetics impact the human body.
In late 2019, I started to see a physical shift in my chin and then learned that I had a rare autoimmune disease that affects collagen production in the face. It has been hard to identify what triggered it. With the help of my doctors, we concluded that many years of exposure to certain known toxic ingredients from cosmetics may have played a part. Now, I only wear brands free from as many harmful ingredients as possible.
“Beauty is not a destination. Beauty is a vehicle for looking and feeling your best."
What inspired you to start your own holistic beauty and wellness coaching business?
After 20 years of working in the beauty industry as an educator and professional makeup artist, I observed some common themes among women:
- They would spend lots of money on beauty products and cosmetic treatments and still not feel fully happy with themselves.
- They would use skincare and cosmetic treatments to cover up or ease burnout and their unbalanced bodies.
- They would use beauty products to heal internal discomfort with external means.
I really wanted to understand why women felt this way and how I could be part of the solution. What I learned is that beauty is not a destination. Beauty is a vehicle for looking and feeling your best.
It then became my mission to help women realize that beauty is actually a complicated system and that the infrastructure to beauty begins with mindset and self-connection, nutrition and lifestyle, and conscious beauty practices.
What ingredients do you look for in your makeup?
I love a high-quality Vitamin C & E combination. To retain moisture, Hyaluronic Acids make me so happy. Shea butter, jojoba oil, and squalane are beautiful conditioners for makeup.
What is your favorite Vapour Beauty product and why?
I am in love with the Luminous Foundation because it's the ideal product to achieve natural-looking and perfected skin. The texture is buttery to perfection, and the technology is extremely innovative. The shade range is a makeup artist's dream and is great to use for contouring.
Sandy wears Luminous Foundation 125L and uses Foundation Brush.
If you could do anyone’s makeup, who would it be and why?
Michelle Obama. I am mesmerized by her grace, charm, presence, and beauty. She's also a hometown Chicago girl. I think she is just super cool and would be the best conversationalist.
"If you want next-level beauty results, start by getting your inner beauty routine on lock."
How do you incorporate mindfulness into your daily routine?
For me, any simple moment can be a mindfulness practice as long as I am present and intentional. Although, my daily rituals ground me in a way that creates space for me to be mindful. My mornings begin with warm lemon water, followed by reading ten pages of a book, then journaling. I meditate for 15 minutes after lunch and end my day with conscious facial cleansing & moisturizing (a slow and mindful routine where I focus on feeling my skin, give it loving gratitude, and high-frequency energy.)
What are your tips for someone who wants to start incorporating mindfulness into their everyday lifestyle but doesn’t know where to start?
We are all really good at human doing that we forget to be human beings. Take small moments during the day to connect back to being a human. It can look like:
- Sitting for 1-2 minutes in silence and paying attention to your breath.
- Sitting outside for 10 minutes (device-free) and noticing all the colors and textures you see.
- Eating sitting down, free of screens/distractions, and consciously tasting your food as you chew.
Otherwise, pick the time of the day that you feel the most energized and schedule a 15-minute mindfulness practice.
What is one piece of advice you wish you could share with all women?
When you heal your internal conditions, your external circumstances thrive. If you want next-level beauty results, start by getting your inner beauty routine on lock.
Follow Sandy on IG @sandythinnes