As a professional makeup artist, Stephanie Flor applies her expertise in bringing out the best in celebrities about to appear on camera. As a travel influencer, her beauty-inspired brand shows how other cultures perceive and practice beauty rituals and standards.
Now, during the current pandemic, Flor has comprised a self-care routine that can be sent right to your doorstep.
Launched in September 2020, Flor’s Beauty Box series has begun with the unveiling of “Latina Beauty Box,” with its centerpiece being a practice known as “Bano De Flores.” Used in bathing, this tub relaxation technique is carried out through an infused blend of flowers, herbs and salts.
Flor, who is of Ecuadorian descent and whose surname means flower in Spanish, drew upon her Latina childhood in creating her inaugural Beauty Box. She recalled some of the beauty-related herbal remedies she used while growing up.
As a non-subscription offering, this monthly mail-delivered box will continue by introducing other destinations but will serve collectively to inspire a wellness-minded mini-staycation in the midst of current travel changes and cancellations.
“That’s why I felt that the Beauty Box was important,” Flor said. “It is a way to introduce other people to Latina beauty rituals and get them excited to travel again one day.”
As an adult, Flor also recognized how some Latin American beauty essentials have been incorporated as ingredients in mainstream skincare brands. At the same time, she wanted to honor her ancestral ties to Central and South America, where she learned more about their applications through her travels.
“I think we’re seeing a lot of [these items] come into beauty stores and indie beauty brands, but cacao, clay, and grapeseed oil have been part of our DNA.”
This Beauty Box series is also an extension of Flor’s travel company, “Around The World Beauty.”
Founded by Flor in 2017, “Around The World Beauty” has evolved into a global community of change-makers and thought leaders in beauty, fashion and travel. As its top ambassador, Flor brings women of all backgrounds together through “Beauty Journeys,” a series of beauty-curated trips to India, Morocco, Costa Rica and other destinations worldwide.
Originally, Flor intended “Around The World Beauty” to focus on overall human perceptions about beauty. Yet her personal experiences gave her new meaning. As in, she encourages her audience to find one’s sense of beauty, inside and out.
“I wanted to tell a story of a perspective of what is beauty out there, but then what ended up happening [for me] is that you go out to the world with an intention, you know you want to change something,” said Flor. “I felt the most beautiful when I was climbing a mountain and pushing myself in a way where I felt connected and was living in the moment.”
Her A-ha moment also put her on a personal journey, in affirming that beauty is more than skin deep.
“I felt that, as a traveler, when I trusted myself more that’s when I felt empowered and beautiful. So I wanted to bring that more to people and, especially to my community of women,” said Flor.
While COVID-19 has led to the cancellation of “Beauty Journeys” tours, Flor is continuing to connect and share her global experiences with others through her Beauty Boxes. Partly inspired by her tours, Flor’s monthly boxes will contain ethically sourced ingredients linked to different countries and supplied through various business contacts.
Quarantining with her family on Long Island, Flor said that her Beauty Boxes came about while thinking of creative ways to adapt during this time and remind her of her past journeys. Overall, she decided to have the boxes center on the subject of bathing.
Globally, Flor noted that bathing is only seen not only as a practice of personal hygiene, but also as a self-care technique and a cultural norm.
“Bathing is united. It’s in Japan, with the Onsen, and Morocco, with the Hamman, and so the Beauty Box series came out of that ritual of bathing,” said Flor.
Flor decided to have her first Beauty Box honor Latin America, with goods from Central and South America and organized partly with input from her Latin American relatives, friends and colleagues.
“It’s reminding me of being in that [region] again without having to be there because I can’t be there right now,” said Flor.
Her upcoming Beauty Boxes plan on incorporating other products and countries connected to her previous travels. An upcoming box on Morocco will include Argan oil, which is derived from the kernels of the Argan tree that is found with this North African country.
“I love Morocco and that [Beauty Box] is a way to support the communities that I worked with [in Morocco] at the same time,” said Flor.
Flor is also releasing a Beauty Ritual Candle with a coconut wax base, a golden rim and infusions of rose petals and rose quartz. It’s a nod to coconut oil as a commonly used beauty ingredient.
Another upcoming project for Flor is a virtual endeavor. She will co-host a “Travel Industry Talk” with other female Latina travel experts via Zoom on Tuesday, Sept. 15. The panel will discuss the current state of the travel sector and other related topics. Sign up through Eventbrite for the event time and to attend.
Overall, during this time, Flor credits her travel experiences in helping her to pivot her beauty business.
“I think that when you’re a traveler, you have a view of life that’s very much in the now and an appreciation of, and a connection to, being in the moment,” said Flor. “That mindset is something that’s really important to have during this time.”