Art of Pure, a Chicago-based clean beauty and wellness retailer, will have the grand opening of its first storefront, Saturday, November 20. The first 100 customers on Saturday will receive a small gift bag with samples. The new boutique, located at 958 W Armitage Ave. in Lincoln Park will offer a handpicked selection and eco-friendly items.
Founder and clean beauty expert Monika Joshi is committed to proving that beauty can be synonymous with sustainability. A former investment banker and mother, Joshi entered the beauty industry after spending countless hours researching skincare ingredients in an effort to understand her daughter’s eczema as well as her own issues with sensitive skin. As a result, Joshi launched the Art of Pure e-commerce store in 2017 and promises that health and safety standards are uncompromising, ensuring every item, ingredient, and brand is tested for performance and potency. I got to meet Monika ahead of the grand opening and ask her more.
It must be exciting to open a brick and mortar store, what can shoppers expect to find?
It is so exciting to open a brick-and-mortar store! Especially because this has been a couple of years in the making. You can expect to find a nicely curated selection of clean beauty, makeup, wellness products from adaptogens and supplements to sexual and feminine health as well as some eco-friendly home and personal goods. We will also have a refill station for a natural, plant-based soap in a modern bottle and various scents. Next year we plan to offer a mask bar, makeup application sessions, wellness events, and more, all in a calming, pretty space.
There is a wider variety of clean beauty products available now than I can remember 10 years ago. It can be overwhelming. For someone making the switch with skincare or makeup what are a couple of items you suggest starting with first?
There are so many clean beauty brands and products available now, and it’s amazing how good they really are! It can be overwhelming to people when they see so many choices and don’t know where to start, but we’re here to help! I always like to recommend that when you’re trying clean beauty for the first time, start with something that is not too drastic, maybe like an oil face cleanser, or mascara or eyeliner. Once you feel these are working, ease into other products you want to try and switch to, such as a serum or body oil.
What are your favorite brands/ makeup products?
This is a hard question to answer for me– it’s like choosing your favorite child! I truly love every brand that I carry, because I only carry that brand if I personally love it and would use it every day. If it doesn’t work, doesn’t do what it says it does, isn’t packaged well, or doesn’t meet certain formulation and sourcing criteria, I don’t bring it in. So I honestly love all the products I carry and would use them every day.
So often we hear that it all begins on the inside, what wellness products do you recommend for helping someone feel good?
Yes, that’s so true! Our skin and health, in general, is a complete reflection of what’s going on inside. Gut health is responsible for a huge portion of our overall health. Goes without saying that water is key, but aside from that, I love to take some form of adaptogen, like Ashwagandha or He Shou Wu, these control our body’s response to stress, and thus our hormones. These are wonderful to add to coffee, tea, or smoothies and really help with overall health. And I also like the Vegan Protein and collagen powders by Moon Juice- they are wonderful for the skin and make you feel great!
What do you think are winter season must-haves?
For the winter season, I love to use heavier moisturizers or balms. These are great for when the air is cold and dry and helps seal some moisture in the skin. I definitely keep up with the toners, to give my skin a good boost of hydration and love to exfoliate with an acid toner and an enzyme mask.
Having gotten a sneak peek at the space, it is a bright and airy boutique, and holds large variety of products and brands. You will definitely find something for you or even loved ones for the holiday. Or if you are a beauty junkie like me, you will want to buy everything within sight. One of the best parts for me was not having to check the ingredients on a label, everything is clean and that much better for my skin.
Photos: Eucarol Juarez