How many great ideas have you had in the shower? Maybe a few (something always tends to pop in our heads sometime during face washing) but it’s rare that they turn into a beauty company. Unless you’re Dara Levy, founder of Dermaflash, an at-home dermaplaning system that removes peach fuzz and dead skin buildup on the skin’s surface. We recently caught up with the founder who shared her best tips for starting a beauty business, the beauty trend she’s most excited about and what makeup means to her.
I am a product junkie and am constantly trying new things. I have a cabinet full of cleansers, serums and moisturizers and switch around often depending on what’s going on with my skin. My one constant is SK-II Facial Treatment Essence, which is always my first step post cleansing. I also always use a serum and moisturizer. Right now, I am totally obsessed with all things Dr. Barbara Sturm. Of course, I use DERMAFLASH, my magic wand, religiously every week. Before applying Dermaflash Post Flash, I always follow up with Dermablend Flash and Glow Peel Pads. I then use a sheet mask. I am currently loving the new La Mer The Treatment Lotion Hydrating Mask, which have an ounce of Miracle Broth in each mask — so indulgent! I have also recently started using a new device while I mask. Georgia Louise Pulse and Glo Ion Enhancer drives the ingredients of the mask deeply into skin and is also said to boost blood circulation.
I usually sport a no-makeup-makeup look. If I am wearing nothing at all, my go-to is Dermaflash DermaProtect Daily Defense Broad Spectrum SPF 50+, which protects, perfects, has a beautiful satiny finish and offers light coverage with a universal tint that suits all skin types. If I am using makeup, I normally use IT Cosmetics Illuminating CC+ Cream SPF 50+, Almay Copper Eye Pencil, a little mascara and lip gloss.
As for my hair I have a no-fuss pixie, so I usually get out of the shower run my fingers through it and that’s it!
Biggest pinch-me moment in your career thus far?
Every time I think about the fact that I had an idea in the shower that has turned into a ground-breaking new category in beauty I have to pinch myself.
What’s in your makeup bag for work?
Dermaflash DermaProtect Daily Defense Broad Spectrum SPF 50+, my trusted Almay Copper Eye Pencil, Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish Powder, Charlotte Tilbury Lipsticks (which stand in for cheek color as well) and some gloss.
How did you get started in your career?
I owned a high-end medspa where we specialized in dermaplaning. We sold over 6,000 treatments in five years. Women would walk in looking tired and stressed and immediately after treatment, walk out glowing, standing taller and feeling better and more confident in their own skin. One day I realized all women want to feel better in their own skin. The reality is the majority of women do not have access to a spa that offers dermaplaning, and the cost of a single treatment is prohibitive to most. I realized an at-home dermaplaning solution did not exist. So I sold my spa, got to work, and in 2016 DERMAFLASH was born.
Your best advice for aspiring beauty entrepreneurs?
Get out there and do it. You can always find a million reasons why it won’t fly. If someone tells you why it will not work, go find someone who tells you why it will! Network, find people who believe in your vision and think it’s real! Believe in yourself and never lose your passion.
The beauty industry trend to you're most excited about in 2019?
I think inclusivity has finally become the norm. We were ahead of the curve with that. I created DERMAFLASH for all women regardless of age, skin tone, type or color. The device category is also booming with more solutions inspired by in-spa treatments. It is always exciting to see what’s coming next. We are actually about to launch DERMAPORE, an innovative pore-cleansing modality that was born in-spa. I am a mask junkie and that category is also exploding.
What does a day in your life look like?
No matter how good or bad life is at any given moment, before opening my eyes, I always give gratitude to the universe for the amazing day I am about to have. I keep a glass of water next to my bed and drink that before getting up (water is so important for the health of your skin, and I am definitely guilty of not drinking enough). I am addicted to coffee and cannot speak until I have downed my first cup with homemade almond milk. I need to eat breakfast, which is usually eggs or a smoothie. I recently did Whole 30, so I’m trying to avoid bread (I love bread). I spend the first couple hours of the day responding to email and catching up with the latest beauty and business news. I try to jump on my treadmill for at least 30 minutes and then I take a quick shower.
My typical look is very casual with minimal makeup. If I do not have any meetings scheduled, a little lip gloss and mascara is normally all I put on. I will normally throw on an oversized sweater, jeans and a cute gym shoe. I then head to the office to touch base with my team. Lunch is usually a salad and a piece of salmon and normally with someone or everyone from my team. After work I will meet my husband for dinner and a very necessary couple of glasses of red wine.
I’m available and working 24/7; my phone is my lifeline. When I finally un-plug, I remove my makeup and wash my face with whatever cleanser I feel I need that day. Sometimes oil-based and sometimes I need a lather. I use Dermaflash Flash and Glow Resurfacing Peel Pads nightly to help gently dissolve dead skin cell buildup and help to reduce the look of uneven skin tone. I finish with a multitude of steps depending on my mood. Always SK-II Essence and then at least one serum and a richer moisturizer than I use for day, and of course, neck cream. I have yet to find the fountain of youth in a neck cream, but I am on a perpetual hunt. Our necks give away our age and I am not a fan of what the aging process is doing to mine.
Who or what inspires you?
I am constantly inspired by women who hold it all together. I think as a group we put a tremendous amount of pressure on ourselves and hold ourselves to a higher standard. The challenge to do it all and do it all perfectly is just not possible. Something's got to give. I am inspired by my friends who hold down the fort, make dinner every night and never yell at their kids (I am a terrible cook and have been known to lose it with my kids). I am inspired by my friends who are always nice to everyone and make time to take their mother to a movie. I am inspired by women who run huge businesses and yet have incredibly strong marriages. Personally, I’m human and often feel like I am not doing any of it well. Running a company, being a wife, mother, daughter and friend is a lot! I am in awe of the many women I know in so many different areas of my life that seem to do it all with grace.
Makeup is __________?
I truly feel makeup is empowering and allows us to express ourselves.