Q & A with Hush + Dotti Founder Dina Altieri
What inspired you to create your brand?
As a pro makeup artist based in Manhattan for over two decades, I saw the beauty industry changing right before my very eyes. Clients were reading a lot, becoming informed and were asking a ton of questions about product ingredients. When I set out to find high quality, well pigmented, long lasting products without toxins I was shocked that I couldn’t find any. Sure, there were brands out there, but nothing that could stand up to the camera or a busy executive’s long day of work. It was disappointing at first, but that is when the light bulb went off and Hush + Dotti was born.
Why clean products? When did you decide clean beauty mattered to you and why?
Clean beauty is not a fad or a trend or a passing fancy. It represents a huge shift thinking and is what customers are asking for. I have worked for brands in the past that were extremely popular and had countless loyal clients. I literally watched the customer loyalty shift away from these brands because they did not contain clean ingredients. Clients were reading the ingredients on each box and were and walking away. Those moments taught me a lot and ultimately changed the direction of my future. When I started doing my own research about ingredients, I was horrified at what I found. Over the years I have heard many sad stories about otherwise healthy people leading extremely healthy lifestyles who could not trace their illnesses to anything other than the products they had been using. If that doesn’t wake you up, I don’t know what will.
What are your favorite products in your line? Essential handbag item?
Whichever product I happen to be looking at, is my favorite product lol! I sincerely love them all. If I were pressed to pick just one - I would choose Dream Drops. It hydrates the skin like a dream, which is where the name comes from. It moisturizes without being greasy. As a result, there is no need for an additional makeup primer. A face that is well hydrated does not need to suck moisture from its makeup. Therefore, the makeup application lasts longer simply from starting out with skin that has a deeper level of hydration. Every makeup artist understands that which is why Dream Drops has a cult like following among them. My essential handbag item is LIP GLOSS! I never go anywhere without it, even to hot yoga.
When creating H+D products, what is important to you in regards to the features of a product?
We will never add anything that is a known toxin to the human body. We are also animal lovers, so our products must contain no animal by products, animal testing or any components of animal cruelty. It is also crucial for us that the products work extremely well and are long lasting.
What advice do you have for people wanting to make the switch to clean beauty who don’t know where to start?
DO IT! There’s nothing to lose and everything to gain from making the switch. To start, pick something that doesn’t feel risky to you, like maybe a lipstick or lip gloss and give it a whirl. Clean beauty is absolutely here to stay, so do yourself a favor and try it sooner rather than later. Every day I see people walking around with a green juice in their hand, but then they’ll stop on a street corner and reapply a department store lipstick that has parabens in it. This kind of inconsistencies make no sense. If you love your body and value your good health, then you will definitely want to make switching to clean beauty products your top priority.
What have you found to be some of the common misconceptions about clean makeup products?
The biggest misconception is that clean beauty products don’t work, don’t last and don’t taste good. Nothing could be further from the truth.! All you are giving up with clean beauty is the toxic garbage that has no business in your blood stream. One of my most gratifying days at H+D so far was when a customer wrote in telling me that our pressed mineral powder lasted just as long and gave even better coverage than her trusted MAC Studio Fix. We get compliments on how long our products last, how great they taste & smell all of the time. As I said before, clean beauty is here to stay. This is not a passing fad. Give it your attention, it is well worth your time and investment.
When you’re not Hush + Dotti-ing, what do you get up to?
We are always Hush + Dotti-ing! We work hard at the daily demands of the business, so we can rest well each night. As a native New Yorker I am familiar with hitting the ground running each day. Working for ourselves is truly gratifying and definitely keeps us motivated to give our best each and every day. Yoga keeps me sane and tequila helps when all else fails.
What’s next for H+D?
We will constantly work towards evolving our brand to be bigger and better than any other beauty brand out there. Hush + Dotti isn’t just about beauty, it is a way of thinking, being and a symbol of a healthy lifestyle. All I can say at this point is to stay tuned!Hush + Dotti is available in-store or online at Clean Beauty Market. Written by Erin Norden, Founder of CBM