Have You Met Annie Mayo?
Advanced Mineral Makeup is a passion for Annie Mayo: “I feel strongly about empowering people to know what they’re using on their skin! We are surrounded by so many chemicals, and some of these may be contributing to the rise in cancer. With all these chemicals bombarding our bodies, I wanted to create something that was healthful for a person, and good for their skin. I believe in eating organically, and using natural products as much as possible. So I’ve extended this view into my product line.” Advanced Mineral Makeup contains no parabens or preservatives. And Annie emphasizes “I want people to read the ingredients contained in their makeup- I know how important it is to use natural and organic components, which is why I include them in all my makeup.”
Annie’s husband, Joseph Ricciardi, believed in her vision, and was willing to financially back her new enterprise. As he observed, “You know the difference between you and other successful women who started cosmetic companies? They did it, and you didn’t!” That statement fueled her motivation, and gave her the drive to create Advanced Mineral Makeup.
Also, Annie’s mother Laura was a great inspiration behind her career path. “As a young girl, I loved watching my mother apply make-up, and this gave me the desire to be involved with beauty products for a living! This observation of the care she took with herself also helped instruct me, as I was mostly self-taught.”
It’s clear from Annie Mayo’s business that serving others can be very personal: through her Advanced Mineral Makeup products, she improves the quality of life for women undergoing chemotherapy. “I work nationally with Oncology Esthetics, where we teach spa owners and makeup artists how to treat challenged skin that has been through chemotherapy or other medical interventions. Recently I was in Seattle at an Oncology Esthetics retreat, where I was a speaker and led a hands-on class for estheticians who will then apply makeup for cancer patients. It takes special compassion and expertise to work with women who have been through these treatments.” Her Advanced Mineral Makeup line contains natural sunscreen, is anti-inflammatory, and is helpful with sensitive, acne- and rosacea-prone skin.
Annie moved to Arizona from Brooklyn, NY, when she was 18. “I come from a strict Italian family. One of my uncles already lived in Arizona, so when my father retired from his Italian bakery at age 40, there was no question that I also had to make the move; I didn’t have a choice at the time! At first I didn’t like the area, but after having been here since 1978, I absolutely love it now! I love the sunshine, and appreciate knowing that it will almost always be a nice day out. The heat doesn’t bother me, and it’s just a clean environment here.”
Mayo has had an interesting career. “For 30 years I have worked as a national educator for many cosmetic lines, been a salon owner, and have been a film and TV makeup artist.” Annie has been involved with 25 feature films, the Miss Universe Pageant, the World Series, and the Super Bowl. “I’ve made up Patrick Dempsey and Sarah Palin. And when Margaret Thatcher visited Arizona, I was the artist who readied her for her appearance!”
But her career took on a different aspect, as Annie explains, “The last company I represented was restructuring, and I decided I would rather work for myself. Since I have never let competition scare me, I felt that if I had a great product, I would be successful. I loved the colors and undertones in many top makeup lines, but I didn’t like the ingredients that they were using. I wanted great ingredients, so everything in Advanced Mineral Makeup is formulated by me. It took me three years, but I came up with all my own colors and formulas. Even though I started with zero customers, now five years later I have built an established company!” Today her Advance Mineral Makeup skin care line is used on NCIS and Grey’s Anatomy, besides being wholesaled to spas and salons.
Mayo has also volunteered for many years at her son’s school. “I have been a devoted field trip mother. I think there’s been only one of my son’s field trips that I didn’t volunteer as a chaperone and driver! I also support his school by helping with hair and makeup at their choir presentations. Just last year I worked with the school play of Beauty and the Beast”.
Annie Mayo has taken a life-long interest and passion in makeup, and has turned it into products that are beneficial and beautiful!
What are your local volunteer activities? At my son’s school field trips I supervise the children, and help with school plays, the costumes and makeup.
Who inspired you to give back to your community? I have always been inspired to give back to the community. I would say my niece Nancy inspired me the most because of her kind and wise young heart.
Favorite restaurant? Steak 44, and City Hall
Favorite movie? Wuthering Heights, the original with Lawrence Olivier; he was so handsome!
Favorite play? Fiddler on the Roof / Something Rotten. I was recently in Manhattan and saw Something Rotten. It was a clever script; I won’t give it away, just go see it!
Favorite TV show? Law and Order SVU. I love the 24 hour marathons.
Whom do you most admire, and why? I really can’t say one person. I admire people who never give up no matter what obstacles are in their way, and they succeed with integrity, and never forget where they came from.
If your life were a movie, who would you want to play your part? Mary Steenburgen; she seems soft and strong at the same time. I loved her in the movie with Michael Douglas.
Do you have any pets? Yes a golden Lab, Baxter. We named him Baxter after a waiter in one of our favorite restaurants in Palm Springs, CA.
When you move, what will your home tell its next owner about you? That I lived a happy life, that I loved to work out, and I loved to collect things!
What’s the best lesson you’ve learned through the years? That failure is a learning experience, not the end, but a beginning.
What was your first job? Bun toaster at Mc Donald’s when I was 16 years old.
What is your greatest indulgence? Staying in 5-star hotels. I don’t take many vacations because of obligations, so when I do, I spoil myself.
What do you consider to be your greatest achievement? Having my beautiful son Joseph has brought the most joy into my life. Seeing him grow up is fascinating to me, it’s like I am young all over again.
What is the quality you most like in people? Honesty and integrity doing what you say and saying what you mean.
Favorite books/writers? Wuthering Heights, I am a hopeless romantic.
What is the trait you most deplore in others? Thinking that they are better than someone else, and looking down on people for any reason.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? Singing; I have taken singing lessons on and off ever since I was 16 years old. I sing the old standards and you might see me at a piano bar one night! I love it.
What would we be most surprised to know about you? My dream was to be on Broadway and to be on the Johnny Carson show. I would rehearse as if Johnny was asking me questions, and I'd play both parts.
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