My guest this week is Dara Kennedy, the founder of Ayla Beauty. Having spent more than 10 years in the retail beauty space, Dara started Ayla because she wanted to combine her expertise as a product developer and curator with her passion for yoga and wellness.
I’ve known Dara (as her customer!) for years and the mindfulness she brings to her business is notable. Her friend and the founder of Twelve Beauty, Pedro Catala, has said that she treats her customers like her best friends — and it’s true, she does and it’s part of the intention that she brings to Ayla.
On this episode, I got to ask Dara my burning questions and move fluidly from the meta to the micro topics about beauty, including:
- How yoga and meditation have influenced Dara’s life and the way that she runs her business
- Cultural differences in beauty philosophies — and how we can leave behind “hurts so good” beauty
- Is the skin barrier really as important as social media would have you believe?
- We also talk about navigating beauty during adolescence and menopause — two extremely challenging time periods in our beauty lives!
- How we can view our beauty identity through the lens of yoga — with more intuition and curiosity and wholeness.
Links mentioned in the episode
Non-toxic beauty products: why they matter — This is from Dara’s excellent blog and has the list of ingredients that are not in any of the products Ayla carries. I found it really helpful when looking at what’s on my shelves!
Navigating clean beauty & skin care with Rachel Pachivas and Abby Jean — This is a Yogaland interview I did with two product developers from the natural beauty line, AnnMarie Skincare
To see more behind-the-scenes photos of my visit to Ayla in San Francisco and to learn my favorite Ayla products, join my Substack! (If you’re not familiar with Substack, it will ask for your email and you can choose a free or paid subscription. Paid members get access to my chat threads, book club, and other content.)