Hello, My Name Is Amanda and I’m a Cosmetic Chemist
For those of you who have been reading this blog for a while now (my blog baby is now 7 years and over 700 posts old) you will have gathered that I’m a cosmetic chemist but for all of my new readers I thought I’d just let you in on a bit of personal detail.
So, I’m Amanda and I’m a chemist. I studied chemistry back in the UK and earned my degree from the De Montford Uni. I did OK, not brilliant but that didn’t matter as it scored me a great job in the cosmetics industry back in 1998 which, it turned out, changed my life. I studied for my Diploma in Cosmetic Science while at my first technical sales job (with global ingredient distributor Brenntag) straight off the bat and completed that the following year. In those days we went for summer camp at the Boots HQ which was very cool indeed and we got to meet some awesome formulators, perfumers and aerosol manufacturers.
From then on I have seen all sides of the cosmetics industry from the inside out. Some of the highlights for me over my career have been helping major UK accounts to formulate cold-process emulsions to save money (nowadays I could make that sound really cool by saying it was a carbon pollution reduction scheme), helping design features on new surfactant molecules so that they could be used around the eye area without stinging (yes as a chemist I can do that), seeing my first ‘I helped build that formula’ hit Boots (yes those guys again) stores all over the UK, taking on and managing a distributor in Spain and helping them sell a range of cosmetic ingredient solutions to the mega brands that surround the vibrant and beautiful Barcelona, successfully re-connecting with my career after babies and a country move to wind up winning an award for a multi-million dollar contract that I secured, taking start-up brands from zero to a range of products and watching them take that and build a global brand and much, much more besides.
These days I work as a consultant at my company Selling Science (trading under the Realize Beauty banner) where rather than lay back and bask in past glories (as lovely as they were) I challenge myself by taking on tricky briefs, tackling the devil in the detail that trips up many a brand owner and being the steady guide through the maze of legislation, technical challenges, high drama and despair that is getting a new product to market.
Everything I share here comes from the head but is delivered from the heart with passion and enthusiasm. I am a hands-on problem solver, thinker and do-er. I lead my small but perfectly formed team from the front, try never to make assumptions and to always delve deeper. I love writing to you via this blog, not so that you can worship me or believe everything I say – I get things wrong too – but so that my passion and enthusiasm for the detail and beauty WITHIN the science ignite something in you so that together we may make better, cleaner products and offer smarter, more sustainable and practical solutions and not just to those who can afford it but to everyone.
I am a commercial cosmetic chemist and as such my primary aim is to leave nothing on the table – no money, no unspent effort and no untested theories – in my quest to create a commercially viable (and scalable) solution.
I will never stop learning and my wish and hope is that neither will you.
This is not a hobby or a job, this is in my blood (and that isn’t just because I breathed in some nanoparticles).
PS: I also like mountain bike riding, my dogs (I have three), my guinea pigs (we have 8), my children (OMG I can’t believe I listed my children after those other things) and my husband (I’ll stop digging). I also love my sisters, mum and dad who have been very lovely and supportive of my crazy work obsession and have never, ever doubted my ability to keep on going.
PPS: I am also very, very fond of trees and can’t bare to spend time in a treeless environment unless I’m in Iceland. I love Iceland but that is another story.