Resilience and Strength: A Q+A with Empowering IMPACT Luncheon Speaker Meryl Marshall
Meryl Marshall is a truly inspiring individual who has faced a breast cancer diagnosis and a devastating personal loss with positivity and bravery. She is the founder of Hynt Beauty, a cosmetics line of luxurious color and skincare cosmetics that is free of all ingredients known to be, or are questioned to be, harmful and irritable for the skin and body.
Her incredible journey that led to Hynt Beauty’s founding began with Marshall’s need and passion to find makeup and skincare products that offered her the assurance and confidence that whatever she was putting on her skin was safe, non-irritable and carcinogen-free. After her breast cancer diagnosis, she took great care in educating herself on the product labels and on each of the ingredients formulated into her everyday beauty products.
Marshall will be joining us as a guest speaker for the second annual IMPACT Luncheon on Friday, March 23, 2018 at The Hamilton Manor. This is an event aiming to educate and inspire while raising funds for life-saving breast cancer services in our local communities.
Get to know Meryl Marshall and be inspired by her incredible story:
Komen CSNJ: What does being a breast cancer survivor mean to you?
Meryl Marshall: Resilience and strength. I have had quite a number of difficult challenges in my life, but I chose not to dwell or let them define me. For example, I grew up in a family that had an abundance of love and, I saw my parents struggle financially. I never felt that I was missing out on anything, never demanded anything and we made do with what we had. Years later, when financial security came, gained by working very hard and living within my means, I never took anything for granted and I so appreciate all the goodness that I have in my life.
My glass is half full, not half empty. I always look to help others to the best of my ability and pay it forward. My past challenges have taught me to have strength to deal with things and I push ahead, try to solve and move forward. Losing my first husband on 9/11 and fighting breast cancer were some of the hardest, most difficult events in my life but I had a set of morals that I chose to live by and I survived.
Komen CSNJ: How did your journey with breast cancer lead you to founding Hynt Beauty?
I was devastated when I received my diagnosis and began my journey of questioning many things such as the food I eat, cleaning products, lawn and garden products as well as products I use on my body. I did extensive research and realized that many of the products that I was using were potentially harmful to myself and my family.
I started to make small changes and eventually transitioned to a healthier lifestyle which included scrutinizing the products out on the market. I did find healthier makeup, but it was extremely difficult to find the textures and colors that I was accustomed to in elegant, luxurious packaging. Clinical white and wood may connote green beauty, but it is not appealing to me.
I wanted to create a brand that expresses the message of ‘trust and love’ — a brand that can be relied on for pro-makeup artist level quality, in gorgeous, sexy packaging, that adheres to a strict blacklist of ingredients that are unacceptable in the formulations.
My husband Craig and I infuse our passion into our business and truly love the interaction we have with our customers. We also enjoy working with our dynamic, creative team that keeps Hynt humming soundly.
Komen CSNJ: Tell us a little bit more about how you hope Hynt Beauty will inspire other women going through a similar journey.
Meryl Marshall: I hope that Hynt Beauty can inspire women to start making conscious decisions at the store, and in their everyday lives for their health and their family’s health. We try to empower women by equipping them with an awareness of what is being sold on the shelves of American beauty stores and drug stores. We do our best to educate them on the basics of commonly used ingredients considered harmful or carcinogenic and leave them with a tool kit where they can further educate themselves over time.
What is great is that there are so many more green beauty options available on the market. And their accessibility is quickly growing as consumer demand on major retailers to integrate cleaner options increase. There is rampant “greenwashing” going on, but consumers will still have to read labels and know what they are looking at as marketing copy can be misleading. We can be more conscious consumers by educating ourselves and using our buying power by selecting products with lower hazard ratings by the Environmental Working Groups’ Skin Deep. Many products from smaller companies are not listed; however, it is very easy to calculate a rating by using their ‘Build Your Own Report.’
Komen CSNJ: We are thrilled that you will be speaking at this year’s IMPACT Luncheon. What inspired you to get involved with this event?
Meryl Marshall: I have always welcomed opportunities to share my stories because I believe that when you, or a close family member, or friend, are going through such life-changing hardships and having to face what feels like an impossible challenge, it is the real life, honest stories from those who have gone through what you are going through, that make it feel possible and conquerable. And for those who have overcome it, I hope that they will also be inspired to take their story and transform it, even if gradually, into something positive and life affirming. If I can inspire even one person in the audience, then that is enough for me.
Komen CSNJ: What are you most looking forward to at the IMPACT Luncheon?
Meryl Marshall: I am hoping that my talk will inspire women to make the connection between how they take care of their health and body, and the potential hazards that are likely to be a part of their daily lives. I will be sharing my philosophy on stress management, regular exercise, eating more organic fruits and vegetables, and reducing consumption of processed foods and animal protein, among other things, which will hopefully help us make better choices on a daily basis.
For example, whether it be food, cosmetics, cleaning products, or environmental; awareness of the potential harms or risks in our daily lives can help us make better, healthier, and often, more environmentally responsible choices. There is no reason for women to continue using products laced with potentially carcinogenic or toxic ingredients when there are cleaner options available. I believe in a holistic approach to health and beauty and knowledge is the key.
Want to hear Meryl Marshall’s inspiring story at the IMPACT Luncheon? Visit komencsnj.org/impact to get your tickets and enjoy an afternoon featuring empowering guest speakers, plentiful networking opportunities and exciting prizes, with a special recognition of breast cancer survivors.