Women of Style: Jessica Alba

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Jessica at Paris Fashion Week. Photo: Getty Images

This week I am so honored to feature Jessica Alba, one of the most admirable woman I have met. Through her incredible vision and dedication as the founder of The Honest Company, Jessica works tirelessly to help women and their children by offering a safer and healthier start to motherhood. As an entrepreneur, author, actor, social media maven and mother, she is truly the woman that does it all – and with such grace and commitment. Jessica is definitely someone we can all look up to as a Woman of Style and I am thrilled to share her inspiring words with you. –Mandana Dayani

Career

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Jessica as a child. Photo via @jessicaalba on Instagram.

Her first job

“When I was small, seeing my parents having to work three jobs each when times were tough, really made an impression on me. They led by example and instilled the importance of having a strong work ethic by always taking pride in their jobs and giving it their all, which is something that has stuck with me into adulthood."

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The Honest Company household essentials. Photo: Courtesy.

What inspired her to launch The Honest Company

"When I was pregnant with my first daughter, I set out to create the healthiest home environment for my new baby. But to my surprise, it was really difficult to find safe, non-toxic everyday essentials from one source that actually worked. I found that I had to exhaustively research and buy products online, purchase items from Europe and Australia, and drive from specialty shop to specialty shop just to fulfill my everyday needs like cleaning my home and bathing and diapering my baby. 

Furthermore, my research uncovered shocking truths around “green washing”. The “eco friendly” or “green” alternatives often meant it was safer or better for the planet but not necessarily for humans. To me, it was such an injustice that the average family couldn’t easily buy natural, eco-friendly essentials I wanted to make sure that all children had access to them.

After reading 'Healthy Child Healthy World', I met with author Christopher Gavigan (he jokingly says I “stalked” him) looking for solutions to my frustration — and he said no company like this existed. So, together Christopher, Brian Lee, Sean Kane, and I created The Honest Company because, as concerned parents, we needed it and believed we could make the world a better place for not just our children but families everywhere."

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The Honest Company Eco-Friendly And Disposable Diapers, $13.95 for 40.

The concept behind the brand

“My mission is to give all children the safest start, while also making life easier for busy modern parents. I wanted to create a company — one trusted source — where families could find safe, effective, and affordable products and have them conveniently delivered to their door with a few simple clicks of the mouse. No more midnight diaper runs! I also didn’t think natural products needed to be drab or dull, so we made sure Honest’s designs looked fresh, cheerful, and cute (just check out our diaper patterns, which are influenced by Alexander McQueen, Banksy, and Murakami!)."

Variety's 5th Annual Power Of Women Event Presented By Lifetime - The Honest Company
Jessica at Variety's 5th Annual Power of Women event in 2013. Photo: Getty Images

Important lessons she's learned

"When I first pitched my idea for The Honest Company, people tried to steer me in several different directions like launching a perfume or fashion line.  But I’m grateful for the initial skepticism because I was forced to delve deeper into researching the marketplace and I gained a better understanding of what my business plan was lacking.  Only then was I able to assemble a great team of partners to bring Honest to life.  The additional diligence also reaffirmed my passion for creating safe and healthy households for families."

"Every time I got a door closed in my face, Cash told me to use that as fuel and motivation to succeed in fulfilling my vision."

Her role models

“I’ve been lucky to have a number of great mentors like Tory Burch, and my business partner Brian Lee. They’ve offered great insight into founding a start-up, turning my ideas into tangible products, and maintaining authenticity in the marketplace. Of course, they also inspired me to go for it!"

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Jessica and Brian Lee at Tech: Crunch Disrupt SF 2012. Photo: Getty Images

Style & Beauty

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Jessica at the Baby2Baby Gala in November. Photo: Getty Images

What makes her feel glamorous

"I love to play with jewelry and layer on necklaces and bracelets. Even if I’m wearing basics like jeans and a blouse, the right jewelry makes me feel elegant and glamorous. That and a good red lip — try Hourglass and Youngblood for punchy, bold colors."

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Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale at the Wallis Annenberg Center For The Performing Arts Gala. Photo: Getty Images.

Her fashion crushes

"I love the no-fuss, sexy style of Kate Moss. She always looks effortlessly chic no matter what she’s wearing. I also love Gwen Stefani’s rock n roll eclectic style and Nicole Richie’s fashion forward on trend style."

 
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Jessica's beauty essentials.

The beauty products she swears by

"I always carry the Honest Organic Lip Balm in my makeup bag. It’s incredibly healing and keeps my lips soft. And my girls can use it too since it doesn’t contain petroleum-based and synthetic ingredients — perfect for a worry-free smooch! For super-soft and glowing skin, my trick is to mix some of the Honest Body Oil with our Honest Face + Body lotion. I love Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Moisture Foundation, Youngblood Concealer, Hourglass Crème-to-Powder Bronzer Duo, and Physician’s Formula Organic Wear Mascara. And I can’t go to bed without using Shani Darden’s Retinol Reform Serum."

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RGB Nail Polish in Cobalt, $18

Her favorite nail polish

"I default to a classic neutral, but I like experimenting with fun seasonal nail colors like gray, orange, and cobalt blue. When buying nail polish I avoid brands that contain the “toxic trio”—formaldehyde, toluene, and dibutyl phthalate or DBP."

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Saint Laurent Two-Tone Boots, $995

On Her Winter Shopping List

"Lots of black and white on one end and on the other end, mixing leopard with other fun patterns and graphics."

Personal Life

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A dinner out in New York. Photo via @jessicaalba on Instagram.

Her On The Go Must-Haves

"As a multitasker, my smartphone and tablet are my lifelines – whether I’m at the grocery store looking up an ingredient, on the road scheduling a work meeting, or documenting my dinner via Instagram (I’m a big foodie!). I’m also a big fan of the HonestBaby app where parents can track feedings, diaper changes, and doctor’s visits or simply manage their orders."

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Jessica playing dress-up with her daughter, Honor, on Halloween. Photo via @jessicaalba on Instagram.

How She Finds Balance

"Fitting in time with family and friends is so important to me, so I’ll prepare a big meal on a weeknight and host a few people for dinner. It’s how I unwind, especially when you throw in a good playlist and glass of wine. Knowing a handful of delicious and easy recipes that I can whip up without too much thought make these dinners possible.  My trick? Roasting. All you need is olive oil, salt, and pepper and you are good to go."

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Jessica, getting ready to work out in Puma sneakers. Photo via @jessicaalba on Instagram.

Her Healthy Living Tips

"Read labels. Know what you're bringing into your home and putting on your body. I think that's the biggest thing — educating yourself and making informed choices. There are other easy tips like taking your shoes off at the door to improve the air quality inside your home. This keeps everything from petrochemicals to sewage and lead dust from being tracked onto your flooring."

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Jessica on set at a photo shoot. Photo via @jessicaalba on Instagram.

3 Things We Don't Know About Jessica

"1) I have a pretty decent golf swing; I used to play before I had my kiddos. 2) I love to travel, fortunately my mother in law lives in the South of France so we get to see family while traveling to one of my favorite countries. 3) Going to the dentist scares me – scratch that – terrifies me!"

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