Heather Marianna has taught more than 300,000 people how to make a “cellulite-busting body wrap" using corn oil, grapefruit juice, dried thyme, ace bandages, a heating pad and plastic wrap. The Las Vegan’s YouTube channel, which she started on a whim in 2012, is full of DIY beauty tips using things you might already have in your kitchen.
Hence Beauty Kitchen’s name and “Spa Fabulous without the Spa Prices” tagline. But so many followers asked her to just bottle and sell her remedies that the web show quickly morphed into a web business.
Beauty Kitchen's success as a product line recently pushed Marianna to move her operations into a 3,000-square-foot facility in Boulder City that includes ample production space and a showroom where clients can schedule private sessions to shop or customize. “Most of my stuff has five or less ingredients. It’s very pure,” she says, explaining that Beauty Kitchen is about luxurious, all-natural pampering at a reasonable price. “I don’t care how much money you have, I’m not gonna pay someone $400 to paint chocolate on my face when I could do it myself.”
Chocolate face masks and body butter will make an appearance in the subscription box she has planned for February. The monthly service launched last June with the Beauty Box ($34.95 a month), which includes four to seven full-sized products. In December, Marianna introduced a Mini Monthly ($12.95), which is full of trial sizes of everything from chamomile eye cream to collagen gels to soap made with milk and honey. It’s a great way to sample Beauty Kitchen (Marianna says there are about 4,000 subscribers so far, across the U.S. and Canada), but for those who’d rather try a one-off, the site offers beauty bars infused with mud from the Dead Sea, calming clay masks with jasmine and lavender, rose-geranium cleansing oil and products designed for men that smell like leather or sweet ale. As far as the properties of different ingredients go (i.e. lemongrass fights acne), Marianna says she's self-taught, though she’s working on her certification as an herbalist.
“I’ve been making my own beauty stuff forever. I used to make stuff for friends all the time, and it was kind of like a hobby for me. A lot of what I’ve learned, too, was in taking classes online here and there,” she says. “And I read a lot of books.”
Despite the rapid growth of her company over the last couple of years, she still does the concocting and makes a lot of her inventory alongside only two employees. “I’m such a control freak,” she admits. “I feel like I have to do everything myself or it doesn’t get done right.”
There are perks to being so hands-on, like appearing at the Oscars and Grammys, where Beauty Kitchen boxes will be featured in gifting suites for celebrity attendees this year. Marianna was just at the Golden Globes and gushes about chatting with Viola Davis and Daniel Franzese, though her brand identity is about giving the rest of us access to the same luxe pampering.
“The whole reason why I started the channel and I just thought it was so great was because I was actually giving awesome advice and giving people real tips. It was a crappy economy then; it’s still not that great. People can’t afford to go to the freaking spa,” Marianna says, laughing. That’s why she doesn’t add extra cost to the products if you want to meet her at the showroom for a personal consultation. “I like to be there and help people.”
To connect with Marianna, go to her contact page.