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July 28, 2011

Meet the Next Makeup Moguls

tata harper

Tata Harper

Photo Credit: David Land

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"Seven years ago, my stepfather was being treated for cancer at the Mayo Clinic, and they had him bring in every grooming product he used for evaluation," says the well-coiffed Tata Harper, who also happens to be a farmer. According to the doctors there, years of exposure to chemicals add up, and patients are strongly encouraged to stop using synthetics of any kind. Happily, Harper's stepfather recovered, but she realized she no longer felt safe using typical beauty products. She and her husband had purchased a 1,200-acre farm in Vermont's stunning Champlain Valley, and in search of all-natural products that boasted clinical-trial-endorsed results, she hatched a plan to produce her own by growing the ingredients on their land. After years of research and development, her skincare line launched in 2010 and quickly gained fans like Gwyneth Paltrow, who recently extolled the virtues of the recycled packaging and clinical-grade essential oils. Harper insists ingredients like wrinkle-fighting date-palm extract in her serum work even better than the chemical stuff. "When I stopped using toxins, it took about three months, but then my complexion just blossomed," says the fresh-faced mother of two. "The fine lines and discoloration completely disappeared." How's that for a sales pitch?

WHY IT WORKS: Never underestimate word-of-mouth. "Talk about your line endlessly," advises Harper.

FAVORITE BEAUTY TOOLS: Tata Harper Refreshing Cleanser, $50. "It has pomegranate, a powerful antioxidant." Burt's Bees Milk & Shea Butter Body Wash, $8. "I love their body washes and toothpaste."

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