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Meet Global Hair Diva Phyllis Marlene Benstein

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How does one go from spending 25 years in a demanding engineering career, struggling to balance work, life and raising children, to becoming a successful businesswoman in the beauty industry, an entrepreneur, and an overall hair care queen?

I was lucky enough to chat to Phyllis Marlene Benstein, who did just that, to get expert advice on life-changing career decisions, living a clean, toxin-free lifestyle and of course, getting those all-important beauty tips.

 

Image Credit: Elle Forte Photography

There’s a lot out there about Phyllis’ story of leaving her engineering job, but I was curious to know just what it was about the beauty industry that grabbed her attention. It’s clear from the start that what drives Phyllis’ motivation is her passion to educate fellow beauty lovers on the importance of using natural ingredients and taking more care when deciding what products to use. 

“I learned that your skin is your biggest organ. Whatever product you use on your hair or your skin - for example, whatever shampoo you use - it’s documented that it goes into your bloodstream in about 26 seconds, so increasing that toxic load was only making me sicker. I had migraines, heart palpitations, and back aches so I started to have a cleaner lifestyle and really look at the products that I was using. Then the opportunity arose with this current company that I’m in.” That company being Monat Global, a premium hair care brand specialising in naturally botanically based products.

“I’m passionate about helping women. My tagline is ‘conscious beauty - why wait?’ and I’m just really passionate about helping women be more conscious about what they put in and on their body so they do not increase their toxic load and can feel better," she says.

Of course, such a huge career change doesn’t happen overnight. Phyllis ran a beauty business alongside her full-time job for a while before taking the leap into the dream career she has today, but it was having her fourth child that drove her to make a change.

“I have four beautiful kids and on my last maternity leave I was working my side business in the beauty industry and I just realised that I wanted to be with my kids. Being sick wasn’t worth it and I needed to find a way to sustain my income and my lifestyle and achieve that balance that I never had. I really began to think, when I had my fourth one, that I really didn’t want to go back to work.”

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Another reason for Phyllis’ desire to leave the corporate world was the struggle of working in a male-dominated industry. Now a businesswoman and beauty influencer, she says she ‘absolutely’ feels empowered by working alongside other strong females, citing her business partner, Toni Vanschoyck, and her mother, as her two biggest role models:

“My mom, who was a nurse, she worked full time - and my business partner are just two examples of leadership and having the mindset that anything you set your mind to is possible.”

Phyllis is the perfect example that it’s never too late to change career paths and follow your true passions. There are so many students out there that feel pressured to follow the career path set out by the university course they study, despite worrying that it might not be for them. Of course, it’s a huge leap to abandon the education you’ve forked out £9,000 a year for, but it’s not worth it to end up stuck in a job you’re not passionate about. I asked Phyllis if she had any advice for those of you stuck in this situation and she responded with a life tip I think every one of us can benefit from.

“As a minimum," she says, "annually you need to take a look at what you’re doing vs your long term goals - in all areas of your life.” 

It’s so easy to go through the motions, but taking a step back once in a while might just be the kick up the backside you need. Making a conscious effort to figure out how your current choices fit in with your life goals seems like the foolproof way to stay on track.

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Moving on from the career talk, I had a few quick-fire questions to find out more about Phyllis’ personal beauty dos and don’ts. 

If you could give just one haircare tip to everyone in the world what would it be?

“If I could give one hair care time it would be to know what’s in your shampoo, know your ingredients to know the effect they have on your hair and your body so that you can achieve your health and your hair goals.”

What is your biggest pet peeve when it comes to hair? Is there something people often do that’s a huge no-no for you?

“For all ethnicities, it’s using hairpieces or wigs to cover up their natural beauty when there are so many solutions now, such as my products, to maintain and grow hair. When someone uses a wig or a hairpiece, what they’re doing is suffocating the oxygen flow to their follicles so it’s just a vicious cycle. They’re trying to manage their hair and they really want to have their natural hair but they’re putting something on top of it that really isn’t helping them have a healthy scalp. Or a hat - guys that are balding wear different hats or baseball caps and they have suffocated the oxygen flow.”

Aside from hair care, what is your favourite beauty product?

“Concealer would be my favourite because it’s all about maximising your assets and minimising any flaws or anything that stands out, so I love to play with concealer and highlighting and shading.”

Finally, all that was left to discuss was what is in store for Phyllis in 2019 - and it appears she’s set to visit our side of the pond to spread her ‘conscious beauty - why wait?’ message.

“I’ve had the opportunity to have some international stages to speak at to educate and raise visibility about toxins and leading a clean lifestyle and really looking good because you feel good," she says. "I’ve been very blessed with some incredible opportunities, and on International Women’s Day (8th March 2019) I’ll be speaking in London.”

Wrapping up the interview, Phyllis reinforces her message one last time: “I’m so passionate about getting the awareness out that it really does matter about what you put in and on your body as far as beauty products go.”

Visit Phyllis at Monat Global here.




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