Benign Shine: Clean Beauty Brand Magic & Manifest’s Biodegradable Glitter And Face Stickers Brighten Retail Shelves
At jewelry and temporary tattoo brand Love and Madness, Heather McAvoy created 2,000-plus designs for the likes of Claire’s and Free People. “I must have sold a million tattoos, seriously,” she says. “I had an office in New York. I had a bunch of people working for me. We had an office in LA. I had no capital, and I did it in under a year. I built it up. It was crazy.”
The one-time PR-girl was going full-speed ahead with Love and Madness until last March, when she suffered multiple grand mal seizures that could have killed her. The brush with death led McAvoy to overhaul her life and her business, ridding potentially harmful chemicals from both.
“When someone tells you might die within 30 days, you sort of lose your mind,” she says. “You look at everything around you differently. I don’t want to be a toxic person. I don’t want to create toxic shit.”
McAvoy shuttered Love and Madness and invested $50,000 to start Magic & Manifest, a clean, transparent beauty company selling face stickers, shimmering body oils, star-flecked lip glosses and more. CBD and biodegradable glitter are central to its assortment. The CBD or cannabidiol oil is an important element to McAvoy because she says it was one of the few things that helped with her recovery. She’s still not feeling 100%, but is improving.
“When someone tells you might die within 30 days, you sort of lose your mind. You look at everything around you differently. I don’t want to be a toxic person. I don’t want to create toxic shit.”
Magic & Manifest’s next product, which McAvoy hopes to release in a few months, combines biodegradable glitter, CBD oil and face stickers. It will be a CBD-oil infused, star-shaped acne patch. Unlike clear acne stickers on the market, including those from Mighty Patch and Rael, McAvoy’s acne patch will be made with biodegradable glitter and is intended to stand out, not subtly blend with skin.
It’s taken the better part of the year to develop the sparkly acne patch. Despite the extensive manufacturing relationships McAvoy formed during her days at Love and Madness, she resorted to tapping her sister-in-law, a nanoparticle research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technlogy, to figure out how to make it. Once the patch was finally perfected, McAvoy decided to seek a patent on it. The patent is pending.
Fashion-focused retailers such as Dolls Kill and Urban Outfitters have picked up Magic & Manifest, and McAvoy reveals the brand is headed to Riley Rose and Shoppers Drug Mart in February. Its primary customers are women 18- to 30-years-old. “I’ve always been talking to the same girl. I don’t veer from it at all,” says McAvoy. “Sometimes she is geeky, and sometimes she is beachy, but, no matter what, it’s always based around fashion. I’ve never sold to anyone that wasn’t.”
“In nine months, I’ll either be completely bankrupt and have another job or this will work.”
Due to Magic & Manifest’s commitment to clean and transparent beauty, McAvoy is considering expanding its reach to green beauty retailers. “I follow Credo and The Detox Market, and I think what they’re doing is super cool, but I’ve never reached out to them. I should,” she muses. “I don’t design anything with the intention of someone else buying it, which is ass backwards.”
Outside of brick-and-mortar retail, McAvoy is planning to sell Magic & Manifest’s 45-item collection on magicandmanifest.com. Because of CBD in many of the products, though, she’s encountered some setbacks. Shopify shut the website down 12 hours after she made a lip gloss available on it. McAvoy built a new site using WooCommerce and is hoping that the passage of the hemp-legalizing Farm Bill will make it easier to sell CBD merchandise.
In the coming weeks, McAvoy aims to finish the site that’s currently a work in progress. She also wants to pursue more retail buyers, editors and makeup artists prior to the music festival season. Beyond that, McAvoy’s not sure what the future holds, saying, “In nine months, I’ll either be completely bankrupt and have another job or this will work.”