The Good Life: The Mix: Q&A: Ursula Augustine

A new skincare line comes to Philly

Face too oily? Too dry? Had the makeup experience from hell? Ursula Augustine can help. Drawing on her work with all the big names (Aveda, Stila, Bobbi Brown) and seven years as in-house makeup artist at Adolf Biecker, she’s introducing her own cosmetic line and Center City studio, About pHace. The best ad for her brand? Her face. This 40-something doesn’t look a day over 25.

How did you get into makeup?
In college at St. Joe’s, I started doing girls’ makeup using samples at a local department store. Until we got caught! I was turning out some pretty good faces, so I left college to do makeup.

Why do so many women have makeup horror stories?
Most people behind makeup counters haven’t taken a single class, and often, they try to sell you everything. My approach was to be honest; I couldn’t let a woman buy things she didn’t need. My co-workers would laugh and say, “Don’t you want to make money?”

What inspired you to start your own line?
With other lines, I would love 80 percent of the products, but not the rest. So I remembered what I liked and asked customers what they didn’t like, to make a more complete line.

What’s About pHace’s philosophy?
To go back to basics. People are doing too much — microderm, sandblasting, chemical peels — and if their skin could talk, it would say Stop! About pHace is a natural-based skin-care and makeup line that regulates pH. Clients can see the results because we test pH before and after.

We heard that you donate some proceeds to charities you’ve worked with.
Sales from my liquid powder foundation benefit the Bridge program, which places city high-schoolers in internships. And proceeds from my cleanser benefit the Career Wardrobe, which supplies work outfits for low-income women.

How do you know if your makeup is right for you?
It should serve two goals: To make you feel good, and to maintain healthy skin by protecting against the environment.

1700 Sansom Street, 2nd floor, 267-546-6617; aboutphace.biz.

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