Name: Felicia Walker
Brand: Phoebe Skin
Hometown: Newark, NJ
What motivated you to start?
I've always made products for myself and my friends. I even had a line before this one. I think I naturally have to create and experiment. Even though I have all these creative outlets, I never thought about them eventually being my main business. My way of thinking has changed, and now It's my goal to pour everything I would pour into someone else's business into my own.
What would you consider your hero product from your brand?
Don’t make me choose! Currently the line consist of three facial treatment masks. Each one is skillfully developed to address very specific needs. STAY BRIGHT is a bit of a hero product because hyperpigmentation is a staple concern with my audience. It's the one topic that keeps coming up practically daily in my work. So in creating a skincare line, hyperpigmentation was the first issue that I knew I wanted to take on. And STAY BRIGHT speaks to that.
What standards / non-negotiables do you take into consideration when thinking about enhancing or developing new products?
At this stage, I'm creating products that I want to use. I'm creating what I want to see in the world. Transparently, I am mostly taking my personal preferences into consideration. I’m going to create products I’m proud of. My retailer is Black-owned, and my Chemist is Black. Right now, I’m just trying to make ME proud!
What do you think are some of the biggest challenges for "beauty / wellness" brands today?
One challenge that I have encountered is discerning what wellness really matters versus hype. I feel that a lot of the education that we're seeing around wellness is centered on hype and trigger words.
What has been one of your proudest moments since creating PHOEBE SKIN?
Teaching Phoebe how to label the jars felt big! So many layers of emotions going on there.
What can we expect in the future from PHOEBE SKIN?
You can expect more mask innovation and masking accoutrements. Big thangs poppin, lil thangs stopping!
What advice would you give customers who want to make the most out of your brand?
To get the most out of my products, I would say to start with your top skincare concern and build from there. My masks are great multi use products, so no matter which one you choose you're guaranteed to get multi use functionality out of the mask.
How do you start your day?
I wish I had a sexy or really serene response to this, but the reality is that my mornings are not terribly consistent. Some days I wake up and immediately have to make lunch because I was too tired to do it the night before. Some mornings I have extra time because I got a good night’s sleep the night before, and have time to meditate before getting out of bed.
Do you have a morning/evening ritual?
I go through phases of having rituals. I'm not wildly consistent. And I'm finding that that's OK for me. My mind and body tell me what I need to be more consistent, and when I can relax a little.
What is your daily skincare routine?
Listen, it totally depends on the day. Some days I'm doing an all out cleanse, tone, essence, treat, moisturize, sunscreen. Some days it's just cleanse and sunscreen. I am in the habit of pausing at least two days per week to make time for masking. This practice really helps to boost my skincare results, and fill in the gaps from days when my daily routine isn't as targeted. Currently, on Sundays I choose either STAY BRIGHT or STAY TIGHT as my masking option. I choose based on my skin’s need on that day. And then on Wednesday, I typically do STAY CHILL… It's like my mid week balancing act.
Do you have a daily wellness routine?
God aint through with me yet. I wish I could call my wellness practices a routine. I'm consistent when I can be. And I go through phases of being super consistent… But then I also go through phases where I'm low-key consistent. My hope is that it all balances out in the end. And for the most part I think it does.
What is a beauty product or tool you can't live without?
Sunscreen is my forever stranded on a desert island product. And my ZIIP nano current device never leaves my hand!
What do you do for R&R when you need to reboot?
It really depends on the amount of time and space available to me. Sometimes it's as simple as a writing “plan nothing” on my calendar for a few days. And that's my reminder to make sure I plan nothing on those days and just go where I feel led. That might mean staying in the house ordering takeout. It might look like an overnight staycaytion close to home. It might mean planning an actual vacation. But I do try to stay in tune with when I'm reaching capacity. And when I see that approaching, I take the time to sort of forecast on my calendar and say in about a week you need to write “plan nothing” and do just that.
What are your must-haves when traveling?
I can’t go anywhere without my Nurse Jamie Beauty Bear Pillow. It prevents me from sleeping on my face.
What selfcare advice would you have given yourself five years ago?
I don't know that I have great self care advice. It's so personal, and everyone needs something different. I'm trying to think of good self-care advice that may have been given to me in the past. I'm drawing a blank. I do feel that time is a gift. And it's something that we should give ourselves over and over again. Whether it’s time for a little at-hime facial. Or time to get the thing just right. Or time to stop and start again. Or time away from something. Or time with something. I do think that the gift of time has proven to be wonderful for my self-care. I hope that's helpful for someone.
Do you have any beauty/wellness advice for our followers?
Oh, finally something I know a bit about. As far as Beauty/Skincare advice – I always encourage people to get to know their skin, intimately. Learn to identify what your skin responds to — both negatively and positively. Note the condition of your skin when you use X ingredient versus Y ingredient. When you develop an intimate relationship and a strong understanding of what works well for your skin, you're less likely to feel swayed by trends or the hot super ingredient du jour….because you have a deeper knowledge of the kinds of ingredients and products that typically work well for your skin. I advise everyone to take this little journey of self-discovery.