Raised in the Bay Area by an artist mother and green-builder father, her parents’ eco-philosophy nurtured in her an equal appreciation for both the beauty of nature and of people. Her modeling career launched at the young age of 12 and by 17 she’d been featured in fashion magazines such as Vogue, Elle and Glamour.
While working, she developed a fascination with the transformative power of makeup, but was disappointed to discover that, in the cosmetic world, non-toxicity and efficacy were mutually exclusive concepts. Eventually, during a shoot, Maran discovered Argan oil and was immediately captivated by its organic nature and production and also by its skincare benefits.
In 2007, Josie Maran Cosmetics was born. Today, her 100% Pure Argan Oil is Sephora’s best-selling moisturizer. The brand has also received prestigious beauty awards, including Allure’s Best of Beauty and O Magazine’s Beauty O-Ward.
Here, Maran describes her family’s philosophy about inner beauty and explains why embracing both the good and bad is key to living fully:
Live The Process: How did being raised by a environmentally minded parents in Northern California inform your outlook?
Josie Maran: My parents are both environmentalists and they taught me reverence for nature’s design. Growing up, I learned to love all things natural, not only in the world at large, but also as an approach to beauty. My mother taught me that true beauty only shines through when you love yourself and others. You are the beauty you see in others.
LTP: Was there a particular person or event that inspired you to found your eponymous organic cosmetics line?
JM: I’ve always been curious about my purpose in life. Since an early age, I believed I could make a difference in the world. When I was modeling, I started asking the makeup artists I worked with for non-toxic, natural makeup. They had nothing to offer me, so I decided to create a product line based on the idea that you don’t have to sacrifice your health for quality products.
The phrase "Luxury with a Conscience" goes back to my roots of growing up with two inspiring environmentalists. Both parts of that equation are equally important to me: the quality of the products and the effect our products and our company have on our customers and the world.
LTP: How do you teach your own children about the value of sustainable consumerism and protecting the environment?
JM: I want my daughters to grow up being conscious of our beautiful earth, being grateful and respectful for all she is. On our farm in Pennsylvania, our family time is full of homegrown and homemade meals, crafty projects and walks to admire nature's gifts. I send my daughters to a Waldorf school, where they are enveloped in the rhythm of the natural world and learn to have a great appreciation of the wonders of nature. My girls are my greatest teachers and we are learning and growing together just like the veggies in our garden.
LTP: Do you have any temptations that you find hard to resist?
JM: I love pizza! And I don't deprive myself of it or anything else that makes me feel good. I believe in balance and enjoying all of life helps me to not feel the need to overdo it. The good, the bad and the ugly are part of being whole.
LTP: What does happiness look like to you?
JM: To me, it’s being surrounded by people who love me and encourage me to continue to grow and evolve. When I'm with my husband, Ali, and our daughters, I'm in pure bliss. I also feel happy when I’m in service. I’m passionate about being a part of creating a more conscious, happy world and being in service to this mission truly brings me joy.
LTP: What does it mean to you to "Live The Process" and how do you do that every day?
JM: It means being the change I want to see in the world, staying true to my values, learning from everyone around me and allowing myself to be truly human—truly me.