By Shannon Kelley Gould
Woe to the teen in search of a clean, clear, healthy complexion. And woe to her mom. Perfect skin, that often-elusive holy grail of the teen years, is not easy to come by, and, as anyone can attest, when a teenage girl’s unhappy, no one’s happy. And, when mom finds her high-end products have been poached yet again, she’s none too thrilled, either. All of it makes for very unhappy times in family land.
When local mom Susan Shand found herself frustrated trying to help her daughter find appropriate skin care for her 14-year-old face, she put to work her years of experience at teen beauty brand Bonnie Bell, Teen magazine, and Miss Teenage America. Employing her daughter and her daughter’s friends as focus groups, she developed a new line of skincare products for teens that met all their specs: TESS, which stands for Teen Everyday Skincare System, doesn’t test on animals, uses botanical extracts, fruits, and vitamins, and uses only all-natural scents and coloring.
The result, only recently introduced to the marketplace, has already scored a loyal following of fresh-faced adolescents, as well as industry accolades — Perfect Pout, a delicious, strawberry-scented lip gloss, won an award from CosmoGirl magazine this month, and peppermint blemish stick, Zip It, is a big favorite for its effective zit-zapping powers. Product junkies in the making will adore the stylish packaging and affordable prices, as well as the inspirational messages emblazoned across the bottles. The messages, including bite-sized bits of empowering wisdom like “Be Different,” “Take Charge,” “Speak Up,” and “Be Yourself,” get to the heart of Shand’s larger mission, to let teenagers know that “It’s okay to be who you are.
What we’re trying to do with this line is to change the way teens feel about themselves,” she said. “Self-care builds self-esteem, and they’ll feel good because they’re doing something good for themselves.” TESS products can be found at Sephora stores (Sephora opens in S.B. on September 29 in Paseo Nuevo), and at sephora.com.