Onda Beauty
Health & Beauty

Beauty From the Inside Out

This week, I caught up with Larissa Thomson, one half of natural beauty and wellness brand, ONDA Beauty.  An editor friend of many years, I asked for the inside scoop.  From her personal beauty and wellness regime, to what’s trending in the industry, she spilled her secrets.  And if following her advice means looking as good as she does, I’m all in.

ONDA Beauty is available at Malia Mills on 77th and Lex, and will open its first store this month at 117 West Broadway.

Larissa Thomson
When did you start ONDA Beauty, what was your inspiration?  
I had been in fashion magazines for 24 years and knew it was time for a change. I knew my next move would be to enter the wellness world in some capacity. I just didn’t know what it was yet, but I was willing to be patient and take some much needed time off to spend with my family and on myself, exploring who I was and what I wanted in my life. It all came naturally after that.

The idea came late one night while I was shopping natural beauty online and researching ingredients. You know those moments when you’re hit with a lightning-bolt thought that’s been staring you right in the face, but you just weren’t looking? That was it. It all came flooding in: the idea, the space, the feeling, and aesthetic. The next morning I woke up and spoke to my husband about it.  He has a small advertising shop called Van’s General Store (VGS). He helped me connect with a few people that could help me start working on a brand deck and numbers. But the vision was clear from day one.  When I met my business partner Sarah Bryden-Brown all that I had done so far took true form and she started driving the business. She has all the qualities I lack so we are a great team. I think every business needs that balance to be successful.

What parts of running your own business are the most rewarding, and the most difficult? 
It feels good to be creating something that’s yours, building it from the ground up. Although it may be both a blessing and a curse to only have yourselves to answer to, it also feels incredibly liberating.  There’s such a sense of strength and freedom in it, but because you’re also calling the shots, it’s simultaneously terrifying.
 What’s your morning beauty routine? 
Hmmm…coffee first, always. Then I wash my face but with a very gentle cleanser in the morning. I use a mist/toner followed by a vitamin C, E and ferulic serum. The toner helps the serum to be received by your skin more rapidly and effectively. After these steps I use a face oil and I finish up with a tinted moisturizer. Besides a lip and cheek tint that’s the extent of my makeup routine, usually.
And at night?
 I wash with an oil cleanser or something a bit more powerful with very active ingredients. If I have the time I do an exfoliating enzyme scrub/mask, then a gentle retinol serum for night followed by a night oil and in winter sometimes a rich hydrating balm over that and eye cream. Sounds like a lot but the whole thing takes about 4 minutes.
How does your routine change moving from summer into fall and winter? 
More exfoliation and moisturizing. That’s about it. Sometimes I use a very rich and hydrating balm at night.
Any new beauty and wellness trends you’re seeing a lot of?
We are seeing more products being customizable. Powders you have to add water to to activate, masks you can add different kitchen ingredients to, to address your specific skin issues. Products are becoming more personal and I think by being engaged with your products on that level you’re creating a more intimate and authentic experience for your self as well.
You’re stranded on a desert island.  You can have 3 beauty products with you, what are they? 
I really love all the products we carry so its hard to say. BUT since it’s a desert Island! I’m going to need some serious sun block and hydration SO….
MD Solar sciences sunscreen for protection from the tropical sun
The Beauty chef’s Hydration Inner Beauty Boost for inner hydration
 And May Lindstrom’s Blue Cocoon beauty balm for outer hydration
So much of beauty comes from the inside out.  Can you tell me about your eating, workout and wellness regime? 
I generally try to do The Class by Taryn Toomey at least 2-3 times a week and if I can mix in some hot yoga. Although when I am out east there is less of all that. Instead I try to run, play tennis, swim and wake board a bit. I like being physically active and find that when I am not things start to fall apart.
The Class by Taryn Toomey
Same with eating, when I’m exercising my eating tends to be cleaner. Mostly plant based with some fish and hardly ever processed foods. That all being said if I go through a phase where I want to eat less healthy like lets say…. cheese and ice cream etc. I figure, what the hell, and let myself have it. 80/20 rule I don’ t believe in extremes in any direction I just try to make the majority of my life healthy and I feel better and enjoy it that way. Other than that I try to meditate every day and am always working on creating a better mind/body connection. I try to use mindfulness to help alleviate any anxiety and excess worrying that tends to manifest in my body.
What’s your mantra?  What keeps you going with work, and being a wife and mother? 
For me its all about the balance. Trying my best to give each equal time and attention while keeping stress to a minimum. I wasn’t so great at this in my past work life so I consider this to be a precious second chance. Meditating helps a lot and lately my mantra has been, if it scares me I should probably do it. Which is uncomfortable, but usually true.
 What are a few of your favorite Hampton haunts?
I mostly like to stay on Shelter Island when we are here.  I love going to Sylvester Manor Educational Farm and farmers market. They have great locally grown produce, eggs, cheese and breads. I wake board with my son when possible and we have a ritual of running down to the beach each night to watch the sunset in front of our house which is really one of my favorite things to do in life. I love the Vine Street Food Truck for lunch, they have a great lobster salad. Also spent some time in Montauk this summer and went to Duryea’s for dinner a few times its fantastic!
Vine Street Food Truck
 What are you reading right now? 
Finding Your North Star by Martha Beck.  Recently finished Steering by Starlight also by her. Really struck a cord.
Who are you listening to? 
Well my 11 year old son seems to like Supertramp and Fleetwood Mac so a lot of that is happening in the car, he is DEFINITELY my kid.
Come meet Larissa, along with ONDA Co-Founder Sarah and Naomi Watts tomorrow, 8/31 at her Pop-up, from 11-6, at Sunset Beach, 35 Shore Rd, Shelter Island.
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