Get To Know Clean Beauty Influencer, Andrea Lee AKA Organic Beauty Lover
We're thrilled to re-introduce you to Andrea Lee, an OG EVOLVher and the mastermind behind Organic Beauty Lover—an online community devoted to sharing clean beauty, wellness, and travel reviews and resources. Andrea also created OBL CLUB, where organic beauty enthusiasts (including her over 130K Instagram followers and 200K readers) can test and review products. We chatted with Andrea to learn more about her clean beauty journey, tips for creators, favorite EVOLVh products, and more!
You are an OG Clean Beauty Influencer. Can you tell us a little bit about your background and what inspired you to start the Organic Beauty Lover?
It's hard to believe that I'm considered an OG clean beauty influencer, because when I started back in 2016 I felt like I was a newcomer to the scene! I grew up in SoCal, but I currently live in Switzerland. I moved abroad to attend university here almost 15 years ago, and it was when I started working and earning a salary that I wanted to buy products that were healthier. It's hard to remember which product I was first trying to find a cleaner alternative to, but I think it was my shampoo and conditioner, because my hair was damaged from all the dying and highlighting. I've always been a DIY girlie at heart, doing coconut oil / banana / mayo / ACV hair masks since high school or even junior high, and I always felt they were so much more effective than the $5 conditioner I'd buy at the grocery store. Fast forward to the year 2016 there seemed to be a growing, vibrant community on social media, so I thought it would be fun to document my love for beauty through creating an Instagram account. I couldn't think of a catchy username, so I used organic beauty lover as a placeholder and I never ended up changing it. Eventually, I noticed some people wanted more in-depth reviews besides my little Instagram captions, so I started a Wordpress blog and wrote probably not more than a dozen posts a year until the pandemic hit in 2020.
Why is clean beauty important to you?
99% of companies out there do not care about the customer. We've always assumed that they did, but now we know that's far from the case - it's about the bottom line for them. Clean beauty is important because we deserve to know what we're putting on our bodies and what the implications of doing so are. It's about much more than offering a product we feel safe using. It's shed light on the dirty practices of companies that have gone on for far too long and teaches us, as consumers, to shop more consciously. On a more symbolic level, clean beauty upholds values that should be important like transparency and integrity, which get lost easily in the hyper-capitalistic world we live in.
How did you develop your approach to testing products and reviewing ingredients?
I do what any person who cares about what they're buying would generally do. If I'm interested in a product, I'll first go to their website and social media to get a better understanding of the brand and ethos. And since my day job is in marketing, I'm always curious to know how a brand executes their digital marketing. Then I'll go to the product's page and look for the ingredients list. If it looks like something I still want to use I'll go ahead and test it. If there's a product my community is interested in or requested of me to test, I'm always open to doing so, regardless of ingredients, because I'm here for them. It doesn't mean that I need to like or personally re-purchase that product. As much as Organic Beauty Lover has become my "brand", I still want to remain human.
What's your longest-running beauty habit or tried-and-true routine?
My longest running beauty habit is re-applying sunscreen.
What is your hair type?
What is your favorite EVOVLh product or routine?
I feel like I have a minimum of 3 favorite products, but at the moment my favorite is the EVOLVh UltraFlex Hairspray. There's no harsh ingredients in it and I like using it as both a leave-in and hairspray. It gives me a little bit of extra hold, but still conditions and nourishes my hair - plus the scent is refreshing and not at all overpowering.
Do you have a favorite styling tip or trick?
I don't think it counts as a styling tip, but the best trick I learned for my dry/damaged hair is to apply conditioner or hair mask to dry hair before I get in the shower, then use conditioner again after shampooing.
You're quite the traveler - where was your favorite spa/wellness experience?
I think I'll have to choose one for each season! For a winter wellness getaway, my favorite has been the Kempinski St Moritz and for the summer the Four Seasons Nam Hai in Vietnam.
What does wellness mean to you?
For me it's doing something for myself. It encompasses everything health related, but it could also be finally setting a personal boundary with a family member or buying the shoes because it will make me happy.
Do you have any creator tips you can share that would help someone starting out on their creator journey?
I have so many, where do I begin! It's important to consume as much (if not more) as you create. You NEED to spend time consuming content (strategically), not just creating it, in order to understand what works well on that platform, whether it's Instagram, Tiktok, Pinterest, Youtube, or LinkedIn because it looks different for each - and guess what, it's always evolving (cry emoji). My other tip is to stop comparing yourself to others and bringing yourself down - just focus on you, don't get distracted by the noise and your content will improve 10x over.