Meet-a-Mom: Take My Face Off’s Amanda McIntosh
If you wear makeup and have yet to find a way to remove it that is eco-friendly and thorough, look no further. Amanda McIntosh, founder of Take My Face Off, has the perfect solution. She invented cleansing mitts that are washable, reusable and softer than other makeup removing cloths. In addition to being a beauty business guru, she’s also a wife and mom. It was great to learn more about Amanda in her “non-trepreneur” roles. Here’s what she shared about life outside of the office.
Tell us about your husband.
I’m married to Christopher Still. We’ve been together for 23 years, married for almost 21. He is a musician in the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
How did you two meet?
We met at Tanglewood Music Festival, which is a summer program for young professional musicians in the Berkshire Mountains in western Massachusetts. It’s part of the Boston Symphony’s summer series. I had to play a lot of bass clarinet that summer (which is large and heavy). Chris had brought his car to the festival. He had a knack for showing up in his car right when I needed help lugging the instrument.
How many kids do you have?
A nine year-old boy and a seven year-old girl.
What’s your favorite family activity to do together?
Go to the beach! We pack up the beach tent and the sand castle tools, drive to Malibu, get burritos, then coffee, then go to Point Dume (which is always nearly empty). The kids hunt for shells, play in the water, and build castles. Before my daughter could walk, she was a master at escaping our grasp and wriggling down to the water. She almost made it to the waves a few times. Now that she can swim (and walk), beach days are a lot less stressful.
Tell us about your favorite hot spots around town.
Altadena and Pasadena suddenly have a lot of great food options. Lincoln is amazing for breakfast and lunch, Union is incredible for dinner, and POV has the world’s best pizza toppings. I love their potato slice pizza – instead of crust, you can ask to have your pizza made on a bed of potato slices. It’s like a pizza on top of french fries.
Old Town has all of the normal shops in old buildings all along Colorado Blvd. It’s lovely. Personally, I prefer to stroll down Green Street, which runs parallel to Colorado one block south. The trees provide amazing shade and there are fewer people. Everson Royce in Old Town is my favorite wine store – they’re geniuses at finding unique bottles that are still accessible. The most interesting clothing store in Pasadena is called Tuck, on Washington. The owners travel all over the world to find gorgeous items. They have lots of Italian and French things you won’t find anywhere else.
What’s one thing people might be surprised to learn about you?
I’m an extroverted introvert. I’m either holding court and working the crowd, or I’m hiding from people with a book. Most people only see one of my sides and they can’t imagine the other one.
You only asked for one thing, but I’ve already mentioned another that surprises people – the fact that I started as a classical musician. Also, that I still work with orchestras sometimes. Beauty and symphony orchestras are very different worlds. I love them both.
Sum up motherhood in one word.
I need two words – being present. You never realize how much of your life you spend checked out until you have a kid, and kids need your undivided attention A LOT. There’s a learning curve, but it’s wonderful.
What’s the most surprising part of motherhood that you’ve discovered?
That my kids will imitate my worst tendencies more than they will hear my best words. They’re so observant! Also, they want to feel needed. It’s so tempting to do things for them – it’s faster, and our culture equates pampering with loving. But I can see how my kids are happier when I let them manage things for themselves. My son will grumble about helping with our yard, but then he’s so proud when he’s done and he’ll check in to see which plants are blooming or need water.
What life lesson would you leave with your children?
Clever, talented people are a dime a dozen. Try to see past the flash. Integrity, curiosity, kindness, and grit – that’s where it’s at!
How has motherhood guided you in other areas of your life?
It gives me perspective and forces me to prioritize. You really can’t say yes to everything AND be a good parent. With practice, I’m getting better and better at working “smarter” instead of “harder.”
Tell us more about your company, Take My Face Off, and any other ventures you’re involved in.
Take My Face Off takes up most of my non-family time. We create environmentally-friendly alternatives to disposables like face wipes and cotton balls. We work with environmental charities as much as we can. I also work with my childrens’ school to raise awareness of the benefits of the Montessori education method. And I’m helping my husband launch a business that works with musicians of all ages and levels.