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Houston woman creates successful beauty product brand

HOUSTON – We’ve got oats, honey, and sugar. What are we making in the kitchen today, a cake? Nope. Beauty products.

Four years ago, Angel Cornelius was looking for an alternative. She wanted beauty products that did the job and were made from all natural ingredients

“I [had become] a product junkie, buying things that didn’t work. So, I did some research and decided I could just make products on my own,” says Angel. “I don’t think you should have to be a chemist to understand what you eat or what you put on your skin.”

And it worked! A little too well. Her product was so good that her friends and family encouraged her to start a business. So in May of 2014 this career woman and mother of two added entrepreneur to her life with the launch of LA Belle Femme.

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Angel Cornelius was a body-cream aficiando long before she started selling her La Belle Femme line of natural, vegan bath and body products in 2014.

Cornelius, a health care administrator for Texas Children’s Hospital, had perfected her body butters in the kitchen, mixing together favorite oils and natural ingredients. Her first clients were church members who couldn’t resist her lavender body butter.

Last year, Cornelius, 57, had a chance meeting with an Essence magazine editor who was looking for products for the publication’s home-delivery, beauty-box service. They ordered 10,000 tubes of her Pomegranate Kiss Body Butter.

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OK! Magazine's PERFECT Gift Ideas For The Holiday Season

Give your loved ones the gift of great skin with a deluxe gift box from La Belle Femme. Founded by Texas mom Angel Cornelius, La Belle Femme’s mission is simple — to help men and women alike achieve beautiful, moisturized skin without all of the harmful ingredients. After all, you shouldn’t have to be a chemist to understand the ingredient list! The deluxe gift box includes a body body butter, beauty bar, and an organic honey oatmeal facial bar, crafted with all natural products that are sure to give you a natural glow. La Belle Femme, $49.

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Angel Cornelius glided into our NYC office with her silver-haired natural crown and luminescent Brown skin lighting her path.

With toned arms (totally reminiscent of Angela Bassett’s in What’s Love Got to Do with It) carrying her branded gift bags of natural body butters and soaps, one thing is very clear, this woman bathes in the fountain of youth.

At 56, this “mama-preneur” catapulted into the beauty industry with her line, La Belle Femme (French for the beautiful woman), after being featured in Essence’s Beauty Box for her products.

Before her line of natural, vegan beauty products got major-media recognition, Angel was whipping up ingredients in her kitchen.

“I stopped relaxing my hair about four years ago, and like most naturals, you spend a lot of money just trying to find something that works. And I got tired of spending money. So I started buying raw products and started making stuff for myself. So I realized the same ingredients I use for my hair, I can use for my body,” she told HelloBeautiful.

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This Body Butter Cures Ashy Skin, Minus the Grease

In college, I had the reputation for having ashy skin (the whitish look dark skin takes on when it’s dry). My friends thought it was hilarious that I could write my name in my leg with my fingernail. Cute, right?

My dry skin problem stems not from a health condition, the weather, or too many hot showers. If I’m being totally honest, then I have to tell you it’s from pure laziness. I just don’t enjoy putting on lotion. Most moisturizers leave me feeling like a big, slick mess, and since I shower at night, applying them so close to bedtime meant getting grease all over my sheets (ugh!). Plus, in my case, I’ve always had to apply multiple coats to see real results.

So when I was asked to try La Belle Femme Body Butter—a product to be featured in the March ESSENCE BeautyBox—I thought to myself, “Great, another product that won’t work.”

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Should You Ditch Body Lotion?

To say our skin is tested during seasonal transitions would be an understatement; especially as we move from winter to spring. Depending on your skin type, a range of ailments can pop up; dry patches, oily breakouts, and redness just to name a few.

And, although perusing beauty products is one of our favorite past times, the overwhelming amount of options can make a final decision seem impossible. Typically, lighter formulas are suggested for warmer temperatures, but skin moisturizers aren’t one size fits all. Weather is just one of many factors to consider before committing to one.

Our March 2016 BeautyBox makes the search a little easier with Pomegranate Kiss Body Butter from La Belle Femme. Its star ingredient, jojoba wax, naturally mixes with the sebum, leaving it protected and breathable year round. Not only does it feel like luxury in a jar; a little goes a long way, too. And did we mention that La Belle Femme is a black owned business?

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