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By Eva Bloomfield, Vegan Editor

Victoria Fantauzzi’s road to skincare was a winded one. With degrees in art, english and education, and a background in teaching, Fantauzzi may have seemed an unlikely choice for eco-entrepreneur. But it’s her compassion and unrelenting belief in the power of education that eventually led to the founding of her luxurious, mission-driven brand La Bella Figura.

IMG_0179A Chicago native with Italian roots, Fantauzzi set out on her professional journey as a teacher. After working in public schools for several years, she sharpened her interest in behavioral science and deviated from her path to teach children with autism. Her career change proved to be more than rewarding–it proved revelatory. As time passed, she became acutely aware of an undeniable correlation between the children’s behavior and their environmental factors. Fantauzzi couldn’t shake off what she had witnessed; she found herself perpetually discussing the issue, all the more cognizant of the toxins in everyday life and deeply concerned with the products we rely on and have unwittingly been led to trust. Her inner environmental activist had been unleashed.

Through La Bella Figura, Fantauzzi lives by Maya Angelou’s affirmation, “Now that I know better, I do better.” She entered the skincare scene, eager to shake things up, and was and is determined to be innovative in a market that had held fast to non-innovation for a persistent length of time. Fantauzzi firmly believes that consumers have a right to an education when it comes to what they buy; to know what’s in their products and how each ingredient was sourced. And consumers are following suit, hungry for transparency and no longer willing to take an ad’s word for it. After years of holding out, retailers are finally bending toward natural beauty for one reason: consumers are demanding it.

LA_BELLA_FIGURALa Bella Figura is more than its elegant packaging and hypnotic fragrances (take note: no perfumes added). Every item is treatment-focused, keeping the goal of improving the quality and health of our skin front and center. Fantauzzi describes herself as “ingredient-obsessed,” and it shows. The ingredient lists sound downright lyrical; they reads like the ultimate who’s-who (or, specifically, what’s-what) of sumptuous, green beauty. With ingredients like Kakadu Plum Extract and Barbary Fig Seed Oil gracing the labels, one can’t help but get a little weak in the knees.

victoriaHer undying commitment to ethical, natural beauty has provided Fantauzzi with a grounding appreciation for patience, scarcity and detective work. The road to transparency is not an easy one, she asserts. You have to do the research, sniffing out the voyage each product has taken, all the way back to its genesis. And the products are all the more precious. Limited amounts of cactus flower oil, La Bella Figura’s latest star ingredient, are produced just once a year in Florence and are at risk of falling victim to natural disasters. The fragile nature of the process is at once tragic and beautiful.

La Bella Figura emits health, beauty, sustainability, and proof that you can be the driver of change through whichever conduit you choose. Though no longer in a classroom, Fantauzzi is still an educator, teaching us to be conscious consumers, to demand transparency and that, sometimes, the unexpected path is the one best taken.

Photo Credit: La Bella Figura