You may have noticed we're into A Beautiful Life Brands around here: The indie beauty brand's edgy/cute/quirky products show up here, here and here. They first won us over by putting shampoo and conditioner in honey bear bottles and by name-checking unicorns and mermaids in their perfumes.
But my obsession really kicked into high gear, when I started following @ABL_Brands on Twitter, and found out it's run by a real-life married couple, Tony and Jennifer Artur, who are completely adorable and basically live out in Jersey brewing up new cosmetics concoctions and hanging out with drag queens and raising a couple of kids, when they're not playing in a hair metal revival cover band or competing at roller derby.
One day they tweeted this, with the text, "Summer's almost over...our kids' last hurrah, drunk on soda/pizza, passed out watching Adult Swim."
Forget that picture of the kids for a minute while I tell you that I am sort of sexually attracted to both Tony and Jennifer, like I'd want to come over and have too much wine and let things get weird, you know? SORRY, Tony and Jennifer, you only tried to sell me beauty products.
OK, you can remember the kids again, for the piece of backstory that the Artur's started ABL in 2002, when they found themselves 7 months pregnant without jobs. I found this out when I called them on the phone!
They opened their store 6 weeks after their son Patrick was born, where he quickly became a fixture in his bassinet. Hence the name: It's A Beautiful Life.
Their goal: to come up with unique products that told a story and put their personalities across. Says Jennifer, "This is a dark secret of the beauty industry: Out of one nozzle many lipsticks come. You could very easily be getting the same formulation in the NARS or Chanel lipstick. It could come from the same factory."
Today, the couple refers to their brand as the "Superchunk" of the beauty industry -- a small indie brand that gets great press but doesn't sell a lot of records. But where they consider themselves successful is combining the "sizzle and the steak" -- a cool product with a cool story in a cool package that works.
"There are a lot of beauty products that are too absurd or too X-rated that we’ve come up with," says Tony. "We have spitballed some really effed-up ideas. Our neighbor keeps wanting us to come up with a scrotal balm."
OK! You get it, they have good stuff. I personally use the All Nighter Styling Powder on my bangs when I don't feel like washing my hair and it gives it a nice piece-y texture, as does the Pre-Game Texturizing Spray, which Jennifer says she uses when her bike helmet has ruined her hairstyle. Also, their stuff is all-natural and doesn't use a bunch of icky parabens and chemicals and whatever; Jennifer says their dog eats it all the time and he's fine. Also, do I need to remind you about this:
So back to drooling all over Jennifer and Tony! They both used to play in bands, and Jennifer was in a band called Birthday Girl (they played their first show with Debbie Harry!) and their big song was called "You Stole My Eye Shadow" about a girl who accused Jennifer of copying her look, even though she had actually stolen it from Sassy Magazine. Which, speaking of, Tony's band was called Brother Eye and they stormed the sassy offices in 1992 and demanded to be featured in Cute Band Alert. It didn't work.
Here is Jennifer in Birthday Girl, circa 94 or 95. She also has a bunch of tattoos.
Anyway, allow me to officially proclaim these guys Friends of xoJane and urge you to support them. Also, Tony and Jennifer, call me if you want to "hang out."