Name: Teri Miyahira
Where do you live: Los Angeles
Occupation: Owner of Teri Miyahira Beauty
How did you discover green beauty: I initially discovered green beauty while working at my first job as an Editorial Assistant for a monthly print magazine. I was assigned to cover the opening of a new green beauty boutique in San Diego, CA. When I visited the boutique, the owner and workers explained what green beauty was and showed me various lines they carried. This was more than 10 years ago when the green beauty niche was barely getting started and hadn't hit mass market yet.
What inspired you to create your own makeup and and skincare line: My first real interest was beauty. When I was 6 years old, my first beauty product obsession was nail polish. So as I grew up, beauty became the hobby that stayed with me even through my education (I was on path to becoming a doctor or chemist up until mid-way of college before switching majors to Communications). Even while working in mass media and then in corporate tech companies doing business development, beauty was the underlying interest. I then became heavy into green beauty in my mid-20’s by educating myself on ingredients and manufacturing practices. So when I started green beauty blogging and then my own product line, I had a firm grasp on what this particular niche was looking for from a product and ingredient standpoint.
I decided to use the subscription box model for TERI MIYAHIRA BEAUTY (TMB) because it’s a way to give more people accessible price points for beauty products versus purchasing products individually at a higher per-product cost. From a manufacturing standpoint, the bigger the bulk manufacturing (number of units), the lower cost per unit to produce. Then add the layer of using natural ingredients which is always more costly versus synthetic ingredients. So the subscription box model helps to drive down the cost of production which making the price point per product more affordable.
Tell us about your product range. What products are in the line and where can they be purchased: We really focus on pressed powder products because that’s a void I saw in the market when starting TMB. Because of the strict ingredients standards, it’s difficult to create 100% natural and vegan pressed powder products (which is why the green beauty market is dominated by cream and liquid products, namely skincare, foundation and lip products). For us to focus on pressed powder makeup that’s 100% natural, vegan, cruelty-free and dye-free (because synthetic dyes are still widely used in “natural” formulations) meant we had to find cosmetic chemists and manfuactuers who would be able to accommodate our ingredients standard while still maintaining a decent production cost considering all of our makeup is produced in the USA and not countries like in China where green brands are starting to move their production to cut cost.
What advice would you share with someone who is interested in transitioning their beauty regimen: The best advice I could suggest when transitioning to a green beauty routine is to take it slow. It’s tempting to throw out your entire collection and start from scratch, but green beauty can get expensive and overwhelming really fast.
I always suggest to switch the skincare that sits on the skin directly (such as moisturizer, toner and serums), then makeup that’s closest to the skin’s surface such as face primer, foundation and face powder. Lip products are another category to switch immediately since we ingest all products we put on the lips (including lip balm). Products such as face cleansers and face masks can be switched later since they are washed off and don’t sit on top of the skin for an extended period of time. And makeup like eyeshadow, blush and bronzers that sit on top of foundation and other complexion products can be switched later on as well.
Another transition strategy is to switch to what I call “half natural” products. These are products from brands who are more widely distributed in retail stores such as drugstores and department stores. While their ingredients lists might not be the cleanest, these mass market retailers usually have cruelty-free and/or vegan products, or items that contain some plant-based ingredients. The main idea here is easy accessibility where you can walk into a store that you probably currently shop at so you’re already comfortable, and you can see and touch the product in real life (even play with testers depending on the store). This is a much less overwhelming shopping experience versus trying to look at the vast amount of green beauty product options that are currently online.
Tell us about your daily makeup routine: I typically rotate between products but keep within the same categories, here’s a quick outline of my everyday makeup routine! Noted below are the specific current products I’m testing right now. Keep in mind that I test both green and non-green products constantly because that’s how I formulate for my own beauty brand.
Nose Primer (Trestique Matte Balm Stick)
Face Primer (Charlotte Tilbury Wonder Glow)
BB Cream (Coola Rosilliance Organic BB Cream SPF 30, this doubles as daytime SPF)
Face Powder (Burts Bees Mattifying Powder Foundation)
Translucent Powder (TERI MIYAHIRA Under & Over XL Pressed Powder)
Liquid Eyeliner on top lash line (Physicians Formula Eye Booster Liquid Eyeliner)
Black Pencil Eyeliner on Bottom Waterline (Marc Jacobs Highliner in Blacquer)
Matte Nose Highlighter (TERI MIYAHIRA Highlighter in Grace)
Nose Contour (Anastasia Beverly Hills in Fawn)
Bronzer and Highlighter (Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow)
Mascara (Changes daily)
False Eyelashes (switches daily depending on if I’m filming/taking photos)
Describe your skincare routine: I’m constantly testing new skincare and it changes almost daily as well, so I will outline the general routine for morning and night in addition to recommendations for products I’ve been reaching more often than most lately!
Facial Cleanser (Glossier Jelly Cleanser)
Toner-Eye Serum (Dafna’s Eye Care Serum)
2 x Face Serums (layering 2 serums instead of topping with a moisturizer, so that the serums sink into the skin versus a moisturizer that sits on top of the skin)
Serum (Apoterra Rose Nourishing Serum)
Makeup Remover (Pacifica Rose Water Makeup Removing Wipes)
Eye Makeup Remover (We Love Eyes Tea Tree Eyelid & Eyelash Foaming Cleanser)
Facial Cleanser (Orenda Illuminating Face Wash w/ Vitamin C)
Eye Serum (Dafna’s Eye Care Serum)
Blemish Spot Treatment (Tarte Blemish Bully Acne Spot Treatment)
Brow and Lash Serum (Luna Nectar Eyelash and Eyebrow Growth Serum)
What’s one beauty brand that you think everyone should know about: One of my new favorite brands is Girl Undiscovered from New Zealand who is just starting to get into the US market because their branding and all-natural products are gorgeous as well as high-performing. Their Stumbled Across Paradise Face Mask is like a facial in a jar!
Fave drugstore item: Nubian Heritage Goats Milk & Chai body lotion proves you can have affordable all-natural body care that’s scented like a luxury perfume.
Fave luxury item: Kjaer Weis eyeshadow in Earthy Calm for makeup (it’s a matte dark brown eyeshadow, probably the most boring makeup item for the price tag but I absolutely love the color for a 1-step brown smokey eye). Also Mun Skincare Ayour Body Toning Serum because it smells like an organic spa. A new discovery is Tan Luxe The Body self tanner because it’s a customizable tan depending on how much you use and mixes with any body lotion (meaning your self tanner becomes the scent of the lotion you mix with it, so the tanner feels like your normal lotion when it sits on the skin and it doesn’t develop a very noticible “fake tanner” smell either).
Favorite green beauty dupe: Shea Moisture lipstick in Coral is a very close dupe to YSL Rouge Pur Couture lipstick in #13 Le Orange (my favorite non-natural orange-red lipstick)
Hair care must haves: I haven’t found natural haircare that I truly love, but the cruelty-free brands Ouai and Dry Bar at Sephora have amazing products that are more ingredient-conscious than most mainstream hair brands. Ouai Wave Spray and Dry Bar Triple Sec are products I personally re-purchase over and over to create tousled beachy waves without weighing the hair down.
Go-to fragrance: I haven’t found a natural perfume that I keep reaching for, however a great cruelty-free fragrance brand at Sephora is Elizabeth & James. I especially love their Nirvana White fragrance.
Go-to shop for eco-friendly and ethical brands: Hands down Petit Vour is my personal favorite store to shop because they feature only natural, vegan and cruelty-free beauty and lifestyle products. If you are transitioning to green beauty and you want to hit all 3 categories at once, I love Petit Vour. They also have a very inexpensive monthly beauty box program, and they have 20% back on all purchases.
Beauty secret: Beauty is actually about mindset. Stop hating how you look because you are truly your own worse critic. And use makeup as a weapon to increase your self confidence versus using makeup to cover-up what you don’t like about your appearance.
Favorite way to treat your self: My favorite way to treat myself is to buy an iced Dirty Vanilla Chai Latte from Nordstrom’s E-Bar, and wander around Sephora. I’m still half-working when I do this but I love getting lost in there, it’s like a black hole.
Why do you think self-care is so important: Self-care is the only true variable we can control in our lives. We can’t 100% control many things in our lives (this includes career, finances and relationships), but taking care of ourselves is 100% our own decision. We control our own stress level, how much sleep we get (unless you have a baby!), what food we put into our mouth, the media we consume and the workouts we do. Self-care goes beyond bubble baths and getting a massage. It’s our daily habits of taking care of our emotional, physical and mental well being. I’m currently trying to pull less hours of work to avoid burnout, meditate daily, do a HIIT workout 4 times per week, and get 8-9 hours of sleep per night.
Who inspires you: My dad passed away more than 6 years ago but he’s still my biggest inspiration to create a life that I truly love.
Final thoughts: It can be tempting to push for perfection when building your green beauty collection, thanks to the pretty pictures we see on social media. While I’m honestly guilty of adding to this never ending circle of perceived perfection, I try to make it very clear that it’s ok to go at your own pace and down your own path. We don’t have to be perfectly organic, perfectly natural, perfectly vegan or perfectly anything. It’s finding what you’re comfortable with and what fits your lifestyle, no matter how messy and crazy. Life is always about progress, not perfection.