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American beauty: Cosmetics mogul Josie Maran on why green is gorgeous

Model, mom, and cosmetics mogul Josie Maran sure gives new meaning to “natural beauty.” The entrepreneur, 34, who gave birth to her second daughter earlier this week in a pool in the backyard of her Pennsylvania farm, dedicates her signature skincare line to natural, gentle ingredients (such as argan oil, shea butter and jojoba), eco-friendly packaging and as much as possible, American-made ma
Josie Maran has dedicated her beauty and skincare line to mostly natural, non-chemical ingredients.

Model, mom, and cosmetics mogul Josie Maran sure gives new meaning to “natural beauty.” The entrepreneur, 34, who gave birth to her second daughter earlier this week in a pool in the backyard of her Pennsylvania farm, dedicates her signature skincare line to natural, gentle ingredients (such as argan oil, shea butter and jojoba), eco-friendly packaging and as much as possible, American-made manufacturing. Boasting a “luxury with a conscience" mantra, the popular line has quickly helped women learn that green is, well, gorgeous. For Maran, it’s a passion that’s close to her heart — and her family.

The former Maybelline model, who spoke with TODAY.com last week, said her first pregnancy inspired the launch of her own skincare line.

“When I was pregnant with my daughter Rumi Joon, I was super aware of the products and ingredients I was putting onto my skin,” said Maran, who started her modeling career while still in high school in California. “Staying away from harmful chemicals and toxins is always important to me, but especially during pregnancy since so much of what I put on my skin is absorbed by my body, and affecting my little jelly bean.”

For Maran, equally important was helping support American manufacturers. Roughly 75 percent of her line is produced here in the States: the serums and formulas are American-made, while some items, such as bottles and brushes, are not.

“I want to support the local economy and I trust the quality,” said Maran, noting that  it’s more than just a business decision — it’s also about health and safety. “They uphold policies that I am familiar with, so I never worry that something is sneaking into my products that I don’t want to be there.”

Made in America: Josie Maran Cosmetics' Argan Daily Moisturizer SPF 40, Argan Oil Hair Serum, Argan Illuminizer and Matchmaker Serum.Josie Maran / Sephora

Of her line, several standout items are all-around 100 percent made in the USA, including the Matchmaker Serum, Argan Daily Moisturizer SPF 40,Argan Oil Hair Serum, and Argan Illuminizer ($14-$42, available at Sephora). These popular products contain Josie Maran Cosmetics’ cult-favorite ingredient, argan oil, which Josie discovered while visiting the south of France.

“It instantly became my favorite product and beauty secret,” Maran said of the oil, that is made from the pits of the fruit of Morroccan argan trees. “It can be used to moisturize your skin, hair and nails.”

The business-minded beauty gave us a few beauty tips and thoughts on her growing green empire:

Josie's tip: Know your impact

"I was born into a family that cares about environmental and social issues, so you could say my awareness of environmental issues was just a natural part of my upbringing. My father is a green builder, my mother an artist, my grandmother a human rights activist/professor at UC Berkeley. We were always into a socially conscious way of living.

When I became pregnant with my daughter, I started thinking about what I wanted her to think of me, what impact we as a society were having on our future generations, and more directly, how what I was putting on my body and skin during pregnancy was affecting her. I wanted my line to spread beauty and joy — and for my daughter to see me as a person who brings happiness and light to people's lives ... I wanted to make products that were sophisticated but still good for my body and the planet."

Be responsible with your beauty

"Natural beauty products are much healthier. You know what you are putting on to your skin and absorbing into your body. And, if it’s eco-friendly, you’re not just doing something good for you — you’re doing something good for other people and the planet too. When we buy, we vote for what we believe in, so it’s important to support companies with eco and socially-conscious missions.

I love to experiment with my hair and makeup! I’ll try almost anything. But, you’ll never catch me rocking a trend that requires chemicals and toxins. I’m really not a fan of synthetic fragrance, which is why all my products only contain natural fragrance. Synthetic fragrance is full of neurotoxins and other chemicals that cause birth defects and cancer. Not on my watch!"

Even Josie Maran's GOGO mascara is infused with argan oil.Sephora

Less is more

"Find products with fewer ingredients. Less ingredients means a purer product that you are putting onto you skin. (For makeup), emphasize your best features and smile.  Happiness radiates beauty."

Simplify your beauty routine

"Aside from starting my day with an application of my 100 percent organic argan oil moisturizer, I do two things: apply sun protection and a coat or two of mascara. Mascara opens the eyes, and makes you look more awake and alert."

Fingers are your friends

"One of my favorite beauty tricks that I learned during my modeling days was to apply makeup with your fingers — they are your best tools. As a working mom, it’s a tip I use all the time! I try to make all my products pretty fool-proof and finger-friendly so that other busy women can get a pretty look without any brushes or fuss."

Look for multi-taskers

"I like to keep my look natural and I use multi-tasking products that save me time. For a natural look, I wear my tinted moisturizer with SPF on my face and Argan Color Sticks on my lips and cheeks for a really soft flush of color."

 Rina Raphael is a TODAY.com editor who believes a full tummy radiates beauty.

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