"When I was growing up my neighbors were literally horses and we didn’t have a Walgreens."
“I’m Diandra Marizet (@diandramarizet) and I'm originally from a small town near Houston, Texas called Tomball. When I was growing up my neighbors were literally horses and we didn’t have a Walgreens. Small. Town. I graduated from Texas A&M University. I initially started at their ocean campus and quickly became obsessed with all the oceanography courses my older friends were taking. We were always in the sun, playing sand volleyball, walking our dogs on the beach, fishing off the docks, and rocking saltwater hair to the nearest bar along the seawall. I was only taking basic courses as a freshman, so to get more involved in ocean life, I landed a few volunteer opportunities with the Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network, where I got to help rehabilitate dolphins. I later moved to their main campus in College Station to finish up my business marketing degree, but missed my little beach town so much.
I’m currently the brand strategy director for a non-profit called Village Book Builders. However, my background is in fashion buying and that experience definitely prepared me to show up with a lot of intention for the things I’m building around conscious consumption and impact. I was previously on the apparel buying team at Kate Spade, where I helped lead internal fundraising efforts for their social enterprise called On Purpose.
It was through that work that I connected with Village Book Builders, a non-profit building libraries and promoting literacy in developing communities all over the world. I lead a team of incredibly talented creatives and we are so excited to share the new VBB vision with the world as the organization scales. Stay tuned!
What was your perception of beauty growing up and what is it now?
Let’s just say the influences I had growing up as a young girl definitely derived a lot of inspo from Pamela Anderson. Everything around me was big boobs and big hair (#Texas). I laugh looking back, but it was pretty rough for a fifteen-year-old who still looked like a cabbage patch doll (LOL). I also learned pretty early on in life that women of color are sexualized at a much younger age, which shaped my take on Mexican beauty significantly. I might have not have understood how to explain it at the time, but recognizing that (even when it’s just implied by referring to every Latina and her mom as “spicy”) it put me in a position of choosing whether to belong or not to belong, because those were the parameters seemingly presented before me. I decided to aggressively revolt by being the biggest tomboy I knew, only indulging in my sister’s old flamenco dance outfits from the privacy of my own bedroom.
I also learned pretty early on in life that women of color are sexualized at a much younger age, which shaped my take on Mexican beauty significantly.
Beauty routines have a whole new meaning for me now because I’ve learned that they are for me and no one else. I really cherish my time in the bathroom because it’s my time to check in on my wellness. How tired are my eyes? Am I sleeping enough? How dull is my skin? Am I eating enough fruits and veggies? Beauty was once this weird vapid thing I thought we were supposed to use to navigate the world, but now I see it as a tool to connect with myself and just make sure I’m well and happy.
How did you get into sustainability?
I think we are all primed in some way to care about sustainability in the early days of our childhood. Like, who didn’t have a favorite animal show growing up? Living near the ocean my freshman year planted so many ecological seeds in my brain, but I wasn’t yet aware of the term sustainability the way we think of it today. It wasn’t until I began pursuing a career in retail buying that I began connecting the dots between mass consumption’s harm on people and the planet. Learning about fast fashion was my gateway drug into sustainability you could say.
I focused a lot of time on supply chain issues because I just had a 0% understanding of that aspect, which eventually led me to the harsh realities of the beauty industry’s supply chain as well. Not only is there tremendous opportunity to lower waste and source ingredients more safely for beauty products, but animal testing has been rendered relatively useless and is now widely practiced on account of profit. So I consider trying to be cruelty-free a big part of my sustainable consumption agenda as well.
I’ve always leaned towards less is more with my beauty routine, and these days I am leaning towards even less. I love keeping up with articles from Jessica DeFino, and she recently wrote an amazing piece that makes a great case for less products. I’ve grown accustomed to using cold water on my face in the morning but will use my meow meow tweet face cleanser if my skin feels like it needs help.
Meow Meow Tweet Cleanser
Natural & Organic | Natural & organic ingredients Best For | For oily, combo, and blemish-prone skin Brand Ethics | Vegan, cruelty-free, made in the USA Packaging | Glass, paper, plastic pump (Can buy bulk refill in a metal bottle) Price Range | $25–$51
I think a lot of us would be surprised at how many days we’d opt out of putting products on our faces if we considered skipping an option! I do moisturize twice day an incredible animal rights and eco-activists named Stevie. Her formula feels so rich and buttery and leaves this smooth velvet feel on my face. It literally feels like my face is drinking liquid gold. I do experience redness from time to time, so I also love to mist a gentle toner just before moisturizing. Currently loving Herbivore’s Green Tea Balancing Toner.
Natural & Organic | Natural & organic ingredients
Best For |Bringing balance to combination and blemish-prone types
Brand Ethics | Vegan, cruelty-free
Packaging | Glass, paper, plastic pump Price Range | $22–$39
Aside from the occasional winged liner, my make-up routine is also pretty minimal, BUT because it’s minimal, I need products that really do their job. I am still slowly making my way to low waste products but have found some real winners along the way.
I start my routine by applying my One & Done Naked Skin Urban decay perfector, with really clean hands. There’s something about the dewey impact of finger application that I like, and then I get the added bonus of not worrying about waste from beauty blenders that need replacing. I’ve used the Two Faced Sweet Tea Bronzer (& highlighter) for YEARS. Being from the south, I am so used to walking around in perpetual glow, so this came in handy when I moved to NY and felt like the walking dead during those long cold winters. The highlighter is also so effective yet subtle. I also love that it's in this little cardboard box. I previously used Glossier’s cloud paint and loved the dewy cheek vibe, but really wasn’t happy about the plastic tube. Then I found Elate Cosmetic’s Bliss Universal Cream. Same finger application as Glossier’s, but Elate’s packaging is made from less harmful materials like bamboo and aluminum.
Elate Universal Crème
Natural & Organic | Natural & organic ingredients
Best For |Cheeks and highlight
Brand Ethics | Vegan, cruelty-free, gluten-free
Packaging | Reusable Bamboo Blush Compact, or in a seed paper refill envelope that can be planted
Price Range | $22–$29
I do still use Glossier’s Boy Brow. Who doesn’t? I’m not kidding when I say I must put on like four coats of that stuff throughout my whole routine. Now you all know my deepest selfie secret…But still waiting for a brand to swoop in and make my brow game plastic free.
For mascara, if I’m going for an uber natural look, I love using Covergirl’s brown Lash Blast mascara just on the lashes at the outer corners of my eye. I don’t have naturally cat eyed lashes like some people do (mine stick straight out like broom bristles), so that helps them get there. I was STOKED when Covergirl went cruelty free, because I think it’s important that more ethical cosmetics be highly accessible. If I’m going full lash, I love using Smashbox Super Fan. I was using Better Than Sex before, and it was definetly voluminous but would dry out too quickly and I’m not about clumpy lashes.
I probably get the most questions about my hair. I really value having texture in my hair to promote volume, but again, don’t love excessive products. I’ve been using Lush’s Seanik packageless shampoo bar for like a year now and it really helps take this flat lifeless hair to wavy and beachy.
Lush Shampoo Bar
Natural & Organic | Natural ingredients
Best For |Body and volume
Brand Ethics | Vegan
Packaging | Zero Packaging
I don’t have a fav conditioner tbh. Sometimes I won’t even put it in because (shhh) I don’t brush my hair."
—as told to LWB