Natural skincare boutique, Nonie of Beverly Hills, was founded 1994 by Nonie Fagatt, a retired flight attendant who’s face refused to spill her secrets to the world. After years of making her own skincare products from 400-year-old Hungarian and Austrian recipes, Nonie started the company at 66 years of age with hardly a wrinkle on her face.
Over the last 22 years, Nonie’s commitment to all-natural, healthy skincare has never wavered. Not even when Mendel Duchman, a Hasidic Rabbi from Crown Heights, New York, took over the company in 2005 with the encouragement of his wife and six daughters. Nonie’s products are still made from Alpha Hydroxy Acids and all-natural ingredients today. Prepared lovingly in small batches, preserving the freshness and ensuring they’re 100% free of animal products, parabens, chemical preservatives and perfumes.
Having spent years searching for something, anything, to fix my acne prone skin, I was excited to discover Nonie of Beverly Hills and their “healthy food for the skin” philosophy. You see, I’m one of those vegans trapped in a never-ending cycle of disappointment. I tend to discover a cruelty-free product just as the company gets taken over by a big corporation who begins selling to Asia.
Not this time.
I sat down with the people behind Nonie of Beverly Hills, Mendel Duchman and Marla Douglas, to be sure there wouldn’t be any surprises further down the road.
I’m glad I did because the enthusiasm pouring out of these two couldn’t be described as anything but infectious.
Tell me about Nonie of Beverly Hills
Marla: We’re a boutique company and that’s one of the things that people really love about Nonie – that we’re privately-owned; not a large corporation. We’re small but mighty.
Mendel: There’s no question what makes this world go around is money, but I figured I might as well be doing something that I enjoy and giving back. We’re put into this world to make it a better place to live in. I practice that in every aspect of my life, especially at Nonie.
Marla: When people feel good about themselves, they’re more likely to pay that feeling forward which makes a positive contribution to the entire world. That’s what changes the world. And I’ve seen that happen when I’m in the stores.
Mendel: Testimonials we’ve received from customers about how Nonie products have changed their lives – that is what warms our hearts.
Why do you love the Nonie products?
Marla: Simply put, because they work! When I started using the products, I noticed an immediate difference. My skin tone used to be uneven and dull, and my pores were very clogged. I started using liquid makeup when I was 16 because my skin was such a mess, but Nonie products improved my skin so much that I no longer have to use liquid makeup! People marvel when I tell them my age - they don’t believe me.
What is it about Nonie that makes it so effective?
Marla: The Alpha Hydroxy Acids which are made from bilberry, maple, and sugar cane, and orange and lemon oil – all products you can eat. They remove those dead cells so the other ingredients that are healing, nourishing and cell renewing get to that part of the skin that really needs it.
Nonie was ahead of her time. She was making skincare products for herself before it was cool to do so. The first time I met her, she walked through the door and my mouth dropped. She was in her 80s and her skin was so taut and flawless and I was like, “I’ll have what she’s having.”
What does the future look like?
Mendel: The way people are shopping today is changing. We used to just go after physical shelf space in the stores. Now, we want as many people as possible to enjoy our great product. Because of the internet, we’re getting a lot of international interest. We’re definitely looking at going international. We want to spread the light of our skincare products to the world.
So would you sell to Asia knowing that your products would be legally required to go through animal testing?
Mendel: Absolutely not. No matter what I will keep to our core natural, vegan goals. If someone offered me five million dollars to change my recipe, I’ll never do that.
That’s good to know!
Marla: Our prime concern is the health and wellbeing of our customers, which will always be more important than marketing.
Mendel: And the proof is in the pudding because we use glass bottles. In today’s time and age, we could use plastic because it’s cheaper and less fragile.
Marla: But the chemicals in plastic bottles leach into the product and affect the quality. We don’t even use chemical preservatives. Grapefruit seed extract is our natural preservative.
Mendel: And we will never go away from that core. I don’t mind being number three or number five in quantity, but I want to be number one in quality.
To learn more about Nonie of Beverly Hills and their natural, vegan skincare products, visit their website. For a limited time only, you can also enjoy free shipping by entering ILUVNONIE at the checkout.