Starting today, you’ll be able to meet with ANOVÉ Founder + CEO Evonna Kuehner and shop the brand at select Parachute stores! Evonna is the latest Home for Dreams grant recipient and she is passionate about inclusive skincare, plant-based ingredients, and clean beauty – including clean packaging. At Parachute, we prioritize quality, and we love the approach to product development and ingredient selection at ANOVÉ for this reason.
You can chat with Evonna and shop ANOVÉ products in the following Parachute stores for a limited time:
We’re so excited to see what else Evonna has planned for ANOVÉ, and we caught up with her to chat more about the brand, the products, and the passions that drive her work.
Tell us a bit more about your choice to make ANOVÉ a plant-based, clean beauty brand. Why is that so important to you?
I really wanted to honor the concept of the earth giving us everything we need to live our best lives in our best skin. I grew up in the South, my grandparents grew most of the produce we consumed and so – without realizing it – the majority of my life was fueled by organic produce, natural remedies, and a deep respect for the earth and all she provides. I assumed this was how everyone lived until moving to California and saw how things were marketed: all natural, non-GMO, organic. I was shocked and confused because I didn’t really think there were any other options. So when I think of ingredients for skincare, skin being the body’s largest organ, I immediately think of so many plant derived ingredients and the idea that Mother Nature gives us what we need.
You mentioned a passion for clean packaging as well — what makes packaging clean and why do you prioritize this at ANOVÉ? How does this differentiate ANOVÉ from other clean beauty brands?
Our approach to clean packaging is two-fold. Of course we want to ensure that our external packaging is sustainably sourced and recyclable, but our differentiator is our attention to the primary packaging. Each bottle goes through a proprietary three-step cleaning process before they are filled with the goal of ensuring product integrity as well as more responsible production – you can’t have a truly “clean” product without a clean vessel. This isn’t something that’s widely discussed, but I hope that changes! We believe every step of the process should be carried out with intentionality and mindfulness because that’s what makes the end product better for the customer. There are so many brands to choose from in the clean beauty space, and we appreciate each and every customer that shops with us. As a founder, I want to honor that vote of confidence by ensuring that our products maintain the highest quality possible.
Can you walk us through each product, how to use it, the ingredients and benefits, and how you conceived of each product?
AHA + Aloe Cleansing Gel: This is an extremely gentle cleanser, even with the AHA (fruit derived alpha hydroxy acids). AHA provides a very light chemical exfoliation which is great for addressing blemishes and fading dark spots and scarring over time. The aloe provides a bit of soothing hydration, leaving your skin feeling supple and hydrated. Apply a pump or two to your fingers and gently massage onto your dry face, avoiding the eyes. Then wet your fingers just a bit and massage the cleanser, taking the time to appreciate the contours of your face, and rinse.
Immortal Rose Hydrating Toner: This toner has a very grounding and earthy scent thanks to Helichrysum, also known as immortelle. It’s great for balancing the skin and promoting a more even skin tone, and the hyaluronic acid’s hydrating properties make it a bit thicker than most toners. For that reason, I suggest spraying it onto a cotton pad and then applying it to the face with that pad.
Firming Eye Serum: This is a product targeting the area around and underneath the eyes. The skin in those areas is very delicate, so this serum is a great way to care for that skin and help diminish the appearance of wrinkles and dark circles. Applying a tiny drop to one finger is enough to massage underneath and around both eyes – a little goes a long way!
The Perfecting Oil: This is the final step in this routine. One or two pumps of this oil is enough for your entire face and neck to lock in moisture, promote a more even skin tone, and combat signs of aging. The jojoba oil base is also infused with our proprietary blend of herbs. Jojoba is similar to the sebum our skin naturally produces so it’s easily recognized by our skin and helps to balance sebum production. Other ingredients like seabuckthorn, pomegranate, black seed, camellia, and arnica (to name a few) give this oil its antioxidant and tone evening properties. The scent is courtesy of the goji berry extract, neroli, and helichrysum.
The Cooling Mist: This is the last product in the lineup, outside of the standard routine, and is designed to take with you on the go as an uplifting and refreshing spritz whenever you need it. It works really well during warmer months and you can use it even if you’re wearing makeup. The key ingredients are the spearmint and peppermint distillates which help as the mist works to soothe, cool, and hydrate the skin.
Can you speak to how you developed your first product, The Perfecting Oil? Take us through the product development process.
This was a very iterative process. I had an idea of what ingredients I wanted to use based on what I wanted to achieve, and there are so many great oils to choose from with varying characteristics – from scent to viscosity to comedogenic rating. I wanted an oil that could soothe super dry skin without leaving a greasy feeling behind, making the skin too shiny, or clogging pores. After talking to friends and family I discovered other people were looking for the same thing I was. I tried quite a few different iterations, sharing with close friends and a few family members at first and incorporating their feedback. When I started to feel that I had found the right balance of ingredients, there were also more people asking me for this oil – this sparked my idea for ANOVÉ and I eventually pursued the opportunity to start a business.
How did your background in Product Development inform this process?
Even though I didn’t initially intend to sell this product, I intuitively knew that it was important to get early user feedback. Without realizing it, I was validating product market fit years before I launched ANOVÉ. As I continued to grow my career and helped develop other products in various industries, I always found a way to tie those skills back to skincare and found ways to fill the gaps in my own knowledge by taking courses and consulting with experts.
You’ve mentioned that many natural ingredients have been used by communities of color for generations. Did you have prior knowledge of ingredients that you were already using in your skincare routine that informed your ultimate ingredient choice?
Yes! Arnica is the first ingredient that comes to mind and is one of my personal favorites, as well as turmeric. We also use Lily of the Valley root in the base of our hero product, which is a plant I knew of from my childhood but rarely hear anyone speak about it these days – even in the clean beauty space. These were all ingredients I felt drawn to and deeply connected with, so it was a no brainer to use them in products that I poured my heart into creating.