Gregg Renfrew means business when it comes to beauty. No, really. And we couldn’t be happier about it. When women with great taste and tough chops start brewing up big ideas, we pay close attention, and Gregg’s year-old Beautycounter is an idea we’ve taken to instantly.

Like most of us, Gregg’s spent the last few years discovering just how serious the need for safer beauty products really is. Deeply impacted by the need for better, safer products for herself and her loved ones, she set out to build the very brand she would like to buy. Launched just last year, Beautycounter’s growing collection of safe makeup and skincare products have become every cool girl’s new go-to – the ingredients are clean, the formulas are effective and the packaging is as glossy as it gets.

Women like Gregg remind us why we love our jobs here at The Chalkboard so much. When supremely cool women like Gregg, with her killer taste and Martha Stewart-touched business sense (she sold her first company to Stewart), decide to take on the world of wellness, we all benefit. Read a little more about one of our newest health heroes below, and enter our Beautycounter contest this weekend on Pinterest to get your hands on a few of her top-selling face oils…

The Chalkboard Mag: Beautycounter is all about providing women with non-toxic beauty options. Tell us the moment the light came on for you about toxic ingredients.

Gregg Renfrew: The light came on for me about toxic ingredients after I watched An Inconvenient Truth in 2006. That was the tipping point for me. I then started doing a lot of research, and I read Stacy Malkin’s book, Not Just a Pretty Face.

TCM: What makes your heart flip in this industry:

GR: The opportunity to start telling the truth.

TCM: We love that natural beauty is having a glamorous moment. What are your favorite design influences that have informed the Beautycounter esthetic?

GR: Celine, Chanel, J.Crew, Southern California.

TCM: What would you say the biggest surprise has been in the Beautycounter journey so far?

GR: The biggest surprise has been how many people’s lives have been impacted by exposure to toxic chemicals, and how thankful people have been that we are doing something about

TCM: Your health heroes?

GR: Robyn O’Brien, Ken Cook, Frank Lipman.

TCM: One beauty ingredient you’ll never touch:

GR: Where do I begin? Anything on our Beautycounter Never List.

TCM: The beauty ingredient you’re in love with:

GR: Coconut oil.

TCM: Healthiest beauty habit:

GR: Sleep, when I can get it.

TCM: Favorite beautifying meal:

GR: I drink a very healthy smoothie every morning filled with greens.

TCM: 3 natural brands you love:

GR: Naturepedic, Tom’s of Maine, Babo Botanicals.

TCM: Top 3 non-toxic learning resources:

GR: EWG Skin Deep database, Healthy Child, Healthy World, Stacy Malkin’s Not Just a Pretty Face.

TCM: So many people are overwhelmed by making the switch to a non-toxic lifestyle. What is your best advice there?

GR: Focus on anything that touches your body – what you put on your body, what you sleep on, what you bathe in – and go from there.

TCM: Current mantra:

GR: This too will pass.

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