How to Live Beautifully, According to Healthy Beauty Activist Tara Foley
The Follain founder shares what makes her feel beautiful and why it's important to make time for yourself.
At Livingly, our goal is to help women live more beautifully every day — inside and out. We know beauty is deeper than a flawless wardrobe and makeup routine, it's also about inspiring women to be healthy, well-traveled, and to nurture their careers and relationships. So we're creating fun, engaging content to motivate readers to look and feel good too.
To celebrate the Livingly launch, we asked six inspiring women a series of five questions about what living beautifully means to them. Here's what we learned from Tara Foley, the founder and president of healthy beauty store Follain.
TARA FOLEY'S plan was to go to law school when her career went in a completely different direction. While taking a year off before going back to school, she made it a point to focus on her health and wellness. In doing that, she "got really angry" about the lack of regulation in the US beauty industry.
"In Europe, there's 1,300 ingredients that have been banned from the things we put on our skin. In the US, there's only 11 banned," Foley said.
She then started a blog about healthy beauty. After a post on where to buy safe products went viral, Foley was motivated to create her own store. So, she quit her job and went on a journey to learn about healthy skincare products. She worked on a lavender field in France and worked for a private skincare manufacturer in Maine before getting her MBA as a step toward owning her own store. Two months after finishing her degree, in July 2013, the first Follain store opened.
Now there are three Follain stores and an online shop. Foley and her team consider themselves activists in helping people think about what they're putting on their skin and putting back into the earth. "People don't realize what you put on your skin does matter," she said. "Our goal is to convert as many people as possible."
Foley chatted with us about what living beautifully means to her, how she turned her passion into a career, and how spending 30 days in the woods changed her life.
What does living beautifully mean to you?
Living beautifully means living with passion. Doing what makes you most excited and passionate. That means you're living a full life.
What makes you feel most beautiful?
I feel the most beautiful when I'm the healthiest and most wholesome — when I'm well rested, well fed, well exercised, and when I'm rooted to the earth a little more so than usual. If I'm outside on a beautiful day, that's the cherry on top.
When it comes to your accomplishments, what are you most proud of?
I'm most proud of building an amazing, passionate team. We call it our family. We've attracted some unbelievable people.
People are coming to us right now, we're really lucky. How did I do that? By building something that was a true expression of my passion and I think people had a lot of respect for that. We took a huge risk by doing this and we're like activists, standing out against a lot of issues out there and people want to be a part of change.
Describe one moment that changed your life forever.
It was a trip. When I was 15 I went on an Outward Bound trip and it instilled in me a passion and respect for the outdoors — for all that is our Earth, our planet. Spending 30 days in the woods (without showering!) really gives you a respect for the planet that I didn't have before. I really do think that planted the seed (no pun intended) for what this is starting to grow into — a respect for what we're putting on us and in us. And for our bodies, all that we're capable of, all we can do, if we fuel them in the right way, and also what this planet is capable of giving back to us.
Give us a piece of advice you wish someone had told you earlier.
This is still something that people tell me all the time, and that people have always told me, to make sure to take time for yourself and slow down. It's something that easily gets pushed aside.