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Painlessly Beautiful: Non-toxic beauty products take flight at Fine Feather

Painlessly Beautiful: Non-toxic beauty products take flight at Fine Feather

Olivia Balcerzak

The old saying ‘beauty is pain’ has been around for ages—but that will not hold true for much longer, according to Diana Wang, owner of Fine Feather. The Grandview shop is challenging the old phrase, proving that beauty should not be painful.

“I care so much about people having access to healthy products and being an empowered consumer,” Wang said. “Everything we carry is clean and I have set the standards for everything that we carry, and the standards I’ve set are very strict.”

Fine Feather is a new store that carries exclusively non-toxic health and beauty products including skin, hair and body care, makeup, nail color, personal fragrances, aromatherapy, and wellness supplies. Wang said each of the products in the store is hand picked by her after extensive research to confirm that there are no harmful toxins in the products.

Photos: Brian Kaiser

“I was a customer of a lot of the brands before I carried them here, so I can speak on just how well they worked,” Wang said.

She created Fine Feather after realizing that, despite the growing size and population in Columbus, there was a lack of clean beauty stores.

“I was really frustrated with the fact that I looked around Columbus for a clean foundation and I could find nothing here,” Wang said. “You can find almost everything here, but why can’t we find clean beauty brands here?”

This led her to do more research. “I had come across a few independent stores across the U.S. that carried only clean beauty and I looked at them and I was thinking to myself, ‘I really really wish someone would bring this here,’” Wang said. “I just finally realized maybe I can’t stop thinking about this, because I should be the person to do it.”

Wang began working on what is now Fine Feather full-time in January 2018, and the store opened officially in August of this year. While the store is still very new, the movement towards clean beauty is one Wang said has been around for a while and will only continue to grow in the near future.

“I really believe that clean beauty is going to become the norm someday,” Wang said. “I think the goal of anyone in beauty, whether they’re a retailer or a brand, is for clean beauty to just be beauty.”

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With that said, Wang recognizes that there is still a long way to go before “beauty” means without toxins—at least in America. According to Wang, the FDA is very limited in the amount of toxins that they can ban from the U.S.

“As a consumer […] I wasn’t very well-informed; most people are not very well-informed and that’s not our fault—we kind of default to trusting those in power,” Wang said. “We assume our government is looking out for us; our government is not allowing for toxic ingredients that could harm us to be put into these products, but they actually are.”

In fact, Wang said, the U.S. only bans 30 toxic ingredients from their beauty products, whereas Canada bans over 600 and Europe bans 1,400. Because of the lack of regulation, she said that the addition of the word “natural” to beauty products has no meaning.

“For a brand to call itself or its products natural, they can do that here because no one’s regulating, no one’s saying ‘what do you mean by natural?’ it is whatever they define as natural,” Wang said. “Because that word is not regulated, and that’s a word that people who don’t use clean products throw around a lot, so it’s lost its meaning.”

For that reason, Wang said she does not use the word natural to describe Fine Feather, either. Rather, she informs potential clients that all of the products are free of toxins and clean. Informing consumers about the products in the store, their uses, and the ingredients in them is a part of the experience customers can expect upon entering Fine Feather.

“I want it to be a place of high engagement and I really wanted to educate people who want to be educated,” Wang said.

That is why Wang said she added another component to the Fine Feather experience. A couple of times a month, Fine Feather hosts educational events that are $10 or less (and oftentimes free) to attend, and are open to the public.

“I really wanted the store to be more than just a place where you can buy products,” Wang said. “I wanted it to be a place where you can cultivate community, education and empowerment.”

Fine Feather is located at 1201 Grandview Avenue. All events can be found on Fine Feather’s Instagram page at finefeathershop.

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