Aziza Nicholson Worked in Beauty for 25 Years Before Launching Her Own Brand, Raw Beauty
Skincare for self-love and self-care
From China to West Africa, Aziza Nicholson traveled the world researching the best organic ingredients to use for her skincare line. After 25 years working with commercial beauty products, she wanted to get back to nature and source natural ingredients for a cleaner approach. Today, Raw Beauty Co. is the result of years of study and experience. The brand’s cold-pressed batches get the most out of the organic ingredients and the packaging is 100% recyclable, made of cardboard, glass, and bamboo to limit waste and plastic. We caught up with Aziza to learn a bit more about her career journey and unique 5-step product system.
Aziza, how did you get involved in the beauty industry?
My industry experience dates to the early 2000’s when I was an undergraduate student at Miami University. I spent my afternoons and evenings styling hair or doing makeup to provide additional income to pay my school expenses. There was no denying I had a talent; I was just trying to figure out how to pull it all together. Any chance I could, I’d run off to a beauty trade show. If it was happening, I was there! My goal was to learn from the best in the industry so that one day I could become one of the best. I was determined to travel as far as China if it would give me insight into the secrets of the beauty business.
In 2013 during the Premiere Orlando International Beauty Show, I debuted my first business concept Paradise Natural, a brand of natural, plant-based hair care products. The company currently sells products online and in select grocery stores and salon outlets. Sponsoring a booth during the show was challenging to say the least. I was so inexperienced, I knew nothing about trade show setup. I went in blindly but learned so much from the experience. The first thing I learned is that less is more. My entourage was a dozen models too many and I was not only sponsoring a booth, but I was an educator for the show as well. That show taught me to be prepare, be prepared and BE PREPARED. You just can’t be prepared enough. I continued to sell my haircare, gaining the interest of Whole Foods Market along with other potential retailers nationally and abroad.
What led you to launch Raw Beauty Co. after Paradise Natural?
Raw Beauty Co. is a culmination of my talents as a licensed beauty professional, herbalist, and MBA. After spending many years behind the chair servicing clients, I realized there was so much more I wanted to offer them. I provide a wealth of knowledge in holistic health and beauty care and wanted to find a platform that would provide an opportunity for me to share. My hair care products were taking off, becoming a household name in my region. Consequently, I had become overwhelmed with the demand and not having a solid team in place to help build the brand. I thought about Shark Tank [like Dragon's Den for our international readers], but I needed a more immediate solution and a more probable outcome. Reaching out to business accelerator Idea Pros was one of the best business decisions I could have made. They encouraged me to take what I already had and expound upon it, develop a brand that is unique and provides a need that is underrepresented in the market. I see Raw Beauty Co. as the standard for beauty care companies in the future. As we work collectively to spread awareness about the truth behind many national brand formulas, I believe we will see a dramatic shift from conventional formulations to plant-based formulations.
What is your advice to other aspiring entrepreneurs?
I would advise aspiring entrepreneurs to first find their WHY. Why do you want to be an entrepreneur? Then find your WHAT. What are you going to provide the world that we need right now? Then find your HOW. How are you going to make it happen? Do not be afraid to ask for help, no man is an island, find a TEAM of people to support you and your idea. Your team will provide valuable resources and be the soundboard you need to get your project going.
We have seen a continued focus on clean and sustainable products from brands across the spectrum. How do you approach an unregulated space like this where any brand can make these kinds of claims?
I love this question. We are certainly experiencing a surge of unique brands in this space particularly now that consumers have become more aware of the health risks associated with using certain chemical-based beauty care systems. My approach is simple. Provide an authentic beauty brand that sources only the finest ingredients – we are very transparent about what we use to formulate our products. Many brands make claims but anyone with eyes can read ingredient lists which most often contain the same chemicals that have been used in beauty products for decades. Many brands use keywords like CLEAN, GREEN, NATURAL, or PLANT-BASED as a marketing tool because the average consumer sees this and trusts it without further investigation.
We are REAL. Simple. The ingredients we use are plant-based all the way down to our preservatives. We utilize cold processes, and our lab creates the formulas in small batches to preserve the integrity of the ingredients. Many of our ingredients are certified organic. We use sustainable bamboo and clear frosted glass packaging which can be easily reused or recycled. Our packaging creates less than 10% post-consumer waste. Raw Beauty Co is all about Self Love and Self Care. Part of self-love and care is giving your body what it needs. Our products are designed to nourish your skin and reduce the signs of aging by feeding your skin natural goodness – nothing artificial or harmful. Self-Love and Care also mean being kind to the Earth. As consumers, we are responsible for making decisions that will impact our lives and the lives of future generations. Why not make the right choices now? After all, prevention is always better than a cure.
You developed, formulated, and launched a 5-step system of products. Why did you select these products?
A complete skincare routine will have three or more steps. I chose these 5 because they cover all your daily skincare needs: cleansing, toning, and moisturizing.
1. Cleanse. Wash your face with Beautiana Daily Cleanser and Remover. This cleanser is derived from sources like corn, coconut, and sugar beets emulsified to a creamy consistency. Chamomile, Aloe, Cucumber, and Japanese Green Tea extracts, are used to soothe, tighten, and act as an antioxidant on the skin. These botanicals can assist in epidermal problems and inflammation.
2. Exfoliate. Exfoliate your skin using Micro Brilliance weekly derma scrub. This is something I recommend doing 2-3 times weekly to cleanse away dead skin cells and reveal a fresh, younger layer of skin. Our scrub contains natural Avocado, Jojoba, Hemp, and Grapeseed oils, plus 4% Shea Butter and Vitamin E.
3. Tone. Tone skin with Phytologix. Toner minimizes the appearance of pores. When pores appear smaller, your skin has a smoother, more polished look. It also helps protect skin from the elements and temporarily tightens skin. It's super refreshing and soothing to your skin as well. Botanicals, extracts, marine minerals, and protein will improve skin lipid content and promote firmness. This superior toner has Tamarind Seed Extract; a natural film forming polysaccharide, that has moisturizing effectiveness equal to Hyaluronic Acid. Includes Aloe Vera, Chamomile, and Japanese Green Tea which assist in rejuvenating the skin, while Cucumber Extract will help tighten pores.
4. Balance. I recommend using Balanced Beauty Serum and Brightener serum at night, after applying toner. Our serum performs as an exfoliant, antioxidant, and skin brightening agent with anti-aging properties. The serum will smooth the surface of the skin, refine pores, reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and helps skin retain moisture.
5. Moisturize. Baby Face Moisturizer with hyaluronic acid. This velvety cream moisturizer contains the super moisturizing properties of Hyaluronic Acid (HA) which has excellent water retaining properties, visually it gives fullness to the face ("baby face") and when applied to the skin, eases wrinkles, fine lines, and smooths the surface with a slight "plumping" action. Contains a natural blend of 5 oils and exotic Mango and Shea Butter, to increase elasticity and ease dryness.
Walk us through your personal care routine.
One of the first things I do when I wake up is to meditate and drink a glass of water. I know it’s probably not something you’d think of when referencing a beauty routine, but I believe beauty is manifested from the inside out. My routine is
- Center my spirit. Meditation centers me and prepares me for my day.
- Drink pure water. Water is cleansing and purifying, it’s also the best thing to drink when you rise.
- Nourish my skin. I use the Raw Beauty 5 step skincare system, it’s easy to apply and only takes 10 minutes.
- Eat a balanced meal. I eat something light but fulfilling (fruit, vegan yogurt, gluten-free granola).
I’ve been using the Raw Beauty products exclusively for 4 years. I used Origins before falling for my own brand. I always cleanse with Beautiana both day and night to remove any makeup or debris that settles on my skin. It’s so refreshing, you can actually feel your skin tighten after using it. I’ve noticed how much clearer my skin appears when I complete the cleansing ritual using MicroBrilliance. Beautiana cleanses whereas Microbrilliance exfoliates. You really only need to do this 2-3 times per week, but you’ll notice the difference in the texture and clarity of your skin immediately. After cleansing, I tone using Phytologix which reduces the size of my pores. Balanced Beauty Serum is recommended for nightly use, particularly due to its consistency which is gel-like and slightly tacky (don’t worry this feeling subsides once the serum dries) but also because our bodies heal when we are at rest. The ingredients in Balanced Beauty can activate and penetrate deep while you are at rest. And of course, I never forget to moisturize! After my beauty ritual with the first four steps, I lock in all the moisture, vitamins, minerals, and goodness with Baby Face. I can’t tell you how much my clients, family, and friends compliment my skin. I wear very little makeup anymore since I’m hiding fewer blemishes and my skin is so much brighter and clearer, if I told you my age you wouldn’t believe it!
What are the best ways our Influenster members can support brands like yours?
Purchase the products! Let people know who we are and the change we plan to bring to the beauty industry.
We value feedback and reviews, we want to know what you think, how the products make you feel, and of course, if there’s anything we can do to improve.
One of the best ways you can support us is by spreading the word! Talk about us with your friends, family, and colleagues. Follow us and like our posts on Instagram and Facebook. Share our website www.rawbeautyco.com. Support us if you believe in Self Love, Self-Care, and conscious sustainable beauty for a healthier lifestyle.