Yudoyu had the opportunity to sit down and talk with Sophia Chabbott, Founder of Testament Beauty to find out what inspired her and her beautiful skincare masks.
What inspired you to launch Testament Beauty?
During my 15-plus years as an editor at publications such as WWD and Glamour, I fell in love with the skincare category. No matter how busy I was, somehow, I’d find a time during the day to go down to the beauty closet, swatch formulas, chat with the other editors about what they were into and then I’d go home and research ingredients and formulas. I became obsessed!
Though with all of the access to the latest and greatest products across the category, often with rare and exotic ingredients, I realized I was still looking for something different than what was on the market.
I wanted healthy-looking skin without a gimmick. I sought skincare with ingredients that were familiar, that I could quickly understand what their purpose was, that maybe I had in my kitchen or my garden.
Then it was this lightbulb moment: I wanted the Mediterranean diet for my face — loads of antioxidants, and clinical actives, that are simple, efficacious, and a pleasure to use, smell and experience overall.
Can you tell us about your initiatives and why they are important to you?
It goes back to prioritizing the familiar over the rare when it comes to ingredients and formulations. There are so many easily accessible garden-grown ingredients that are loaded with skin-loving properties that we tend to overlook — think oregano to reduce redness, peppermint to cool, lavender to soothe and hydrate. The best part is that these are readily available and grow across an array of regions.
Let’s talk about ingredients. Can you share your journey in finding the best quality ingredients and why it is important for humans and the environment?
In terms of ingredients, for Testament Beauty it all starts with the ingredients I grew up with, from garden to kitchen. With my family’s roots in Spain, Syria, and Turkey, things like pomegranate, grapes, olives, and herbs like parsley and thyme were a part of the flavors and aromas of home. While these ingredients are known for growing in the Mediterranean region, today, they are grown in many places across the globe, making them accessible. In fact, I have a pomegranate tree blooming in my home as we speak!
I’d love to hear more about Grandma Frieda, tell us about how her garden and cooking influenced you. Can you share a favorite photo?
My Grandma Frieda was amazing and I was so lucky to get to spend time with her as a kid. When I visited her home in the springtime, she’d send me to the garden to pick grape leaves and then I’d bring them into the kitchen and we’d stuff them with rice and herbs to make yebra, one of her signature dishes. Her home was always filled with warmth and love — and whoever came to visit knew they had a spot at the table and plenty to eat. That’s a feeling that’s so imbued in Testament Beauty. My goal is to provide gorgeous products that work and provide value. But also, I want people to enjoy these moments of self-care. From the aromas to the texture to the results they get.
In addition to being an amazing gardener and cook, Grandma Frieda also utilized kitchen and garden ingredients in her own skincare ritual. From blending different oils for bath and body to using rosewater as an essence, she intuitively understood the potential of these accessible, garden-grown ingredients.
You are a fashion writer (right?) How have your experiences in the fashion industry influenced your skincare business?
I spent the bulk of my media career as a reporter in the fashion and beauty space, interviewing an enormous range of brilliant people in the industry, from CEOs of some of the world’s biggest companies to up-and-coming designers and founders, who have since gone on to have hugely successful companies.
The thing about reporting is that you need to become a good listener and to be able to connect the dots in a way that frames the story for a reader. Being in those rooms has been a huge influence on me in terms of hearing the stories behind the successes, getting the scoop on the measure of failure, and watching along as those whose chances were slim at best, defy the odds and hit the very highest echelons.
These individuals continue to inspire me and several of them continue to be mentors for me as an entrepreneur myself.
I used your sleeping mask last night and loved it! Do you have any new products in the works? (we want the inside scoop!)
Yay! I love hearing everyone’s feedback! We have some new formulas in the works, one is a moisturizer, and the other I’m not quite ready to discuss yet (even though I did give you two of the key ingredients in a question above! Can you guess?).