By  on July 13, 2007

After years of strutting the catwalk and posing for Maybelline ads, Josie Maran is taking fresh faces to a whole new level.

This fall, the seasoned beauty veteran is getting her feet wet in the organic beauty business with the launch of her eponymous cosmetics brand. The natural, toxin-free line, Josie Maran Cosmetics, aims to brighten complexions with wearable color without losing sight of the environment.

Even before shooting to stardom as a model and actress, Maran always had lived by a "green" philosophy. The child of bohemian artists, Maran grew up in San Francisco and learned at an early age how to be environmentally conscious. "Being green was part of my upbringing," she said.

While pregnant with her daughter, Rumi, two years ago, Maran developed a strong interest in natural cosmetics, and the desire to create her own product line began to surface. Upon investigating the market, she said she noticed a serious lack of effective formulas that balanced function with a natural focus. "Many natural lines don't give you that color payoff," she said.

Having spent hundreds of hours in the makeup chair during her 10-year stint with Maybelline, Maran said she was already familiar with just about every cosmetic product out there. By combining this knowledge with her green focus, Maran said she has developed exactly what she was looking for in a makeup line: chic and luxurious products made from pure, natural formulas.

The Josie Maran Cosmetics line includes more than 70 stockkeeping units, ranging in price from $16 to $42. All are made from organic, gentle ingredients free of parabens, toxins and petrochemicals. The comprehensive line also includes basics such as a concealer stick, pressed powder, cream and pressed blushes and bronzers, three eyeliners and an eye shadow in 23 shade options. As for the colors: "I wanted them to be wearable," said Maran. "They're fresh, warm and dewy."

Other highlights of the line include the Finger Paints allover color palette, a 70 percent organic lipstick and a 60 percent organic plumping lip gloss. Maran's personal favorite from the line is the Argan nut oil, which she uses as her daily moisturizer. This multipurpose product from Morocco, 100 percent organic, can be used for anything from soothing dry skin to giving hair shine, she said.Before venturing into this project, Maran was quite familiar with the biggest challenge of doing organic makeup, that is, making sure that it still functions. Despite difficulties, Maran stayed true to the natural quality that defines her line. "I wanted to use the most natural and organic ingredients where possible, without compromising the makeup," she said. The eye-opening mascara proved to be the most stubborn product to create. After much tweaking, Maran is quite satisfied with the formula, proclaiming: "It's the only nontoxic mascara that actually works!"

To ensure that they used only the purest formulas, Maran and her team screened each product through the Environmental Working Group's Web site, As a result, the final ingredients list reads almost like a baking recipe. Products contain various combinations of corn starch, cocoa butter, pomegranate oil, jojoba, avocado oil, olive oil, coconut and soybean, to name a few.

Sticking true to her roots, Maran's green theme doesn't stop with just the product — the packaging is also environmentally friendly. The sleek, metallic rose cases are made of a corn-based biodegradable plastic. Other products come in either recycled aluminum or glass. The outer boxes are made of 30 percent postconsumer recycled paper printed with soy inks.

While national advertising is not planned, Maran wants to promote the line with editorial coverage. In September, she will appear on a yet-to-be-named television show to feature her products.

Josie Maran Cosmetics will hit stores in September at Barneys New York in New York and San Francisco. Products also will be available online at While Maran declined to discuss sales figures, industry sources estimate that the line will do $500,000 in its first year on counter.

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