April Gargiulo of Vintner’s Daughter
In today’s saturated beauty market, false advertising has made it harder and harder to find genuine, quality products. As a beauty junkie myself, I’ve fallen pray countless times to brands who over promise and under deliver. In skincare, as in life, talk is cheap but when it comes to real quality, you know it when you see it. About two years ago, I began noticing some big changes in my skin. While I’ve always been fair complected, there was a sudden and palpable shift wrought with rosacea, hypersensitivity, and sporadic blemishes. To try and hide — and more importantly remedy — the aforementioned issues, I sampled a bunch of products hoping for the best. What I found at the end of the trial and error rainbow was quite literally a pot of skin-nourishing gold: The Active Botanical Serum by Vintner’s Daughter. It is so special, in fact, that I felt compelled to reach out to the founder, ask a bunch of questions, and share her story with you. I’ve only been using the serum for about a month now but it’s already become my favorite step in my beauty routine. There are so many things I love about this product, from its golden hue to its nourishing efficacy and its all-natural ingredient menu. The moment you apply it (with the recommended push/press method) you feel time turn back a bit. I’m also enamored with its lovely fragrance. Photographer Jamie Beck likened it to “twilight in the garden in June when the fireflies come out and play” – the perfect sensory description, in my opinion. I’ve also recently realized that Vintner’s Daughter combines two of my favorite things in life: wine and stories. Founder April Gargiulo is the daughter of a vintner (hence the name) and has used her detail-oriented, grape growing heritage and love of wine-making to create a product that is quality at its core. In essence, the serum is also a rich and well-crafted story made up of 22 characters, each rife with its own history. Take for example the the marigold flower, which has been coveted for centuries for its healing powers, or the rose oil sourced from a generations-old family farm in Bulgaria’s Valley of the Roses. Luckily, when you buy your own bottle, a little black book gives sweet insight into these character-rich ingredients, their history, and their skin-beautifying benefit. Read on to learn more about this special serum called Vintner’s Daughter (and the brand’s second product, the Active Treatment Essence just came out in 2019!) Without further ado, let’s meet April Gargiulo!
1. Can you tell us the inspiration and journey behind creating Vintner’s Daughter?
Vintner’s Daughter began when I opened my eyes to the lack of quality and safe ingredients in traditional skincare. I was shocked to find out that active ingredients accounted for less than 10% of a product and the rest was cheap and often toxic filler. I dreamed of a 100% active and non-toxic product that would seriously treat all of my skin issues – acne, discoloration, clarity, tone, elasticity and health. When I couldn’t find it on the market, I spent the next two years developing it with very talented formulators. Our goal was to create a face oil with the ultimate multi-correctional activity and penetration. Gratefully, we succeeded and then some.
2. With a background in fine wine making, do you feel this foundation assisted you when developing the Active Botanical Serum?
Fine winemaking informs everything we stand for at Vintner’s Daughter. I grew up in a family business that is dedicated to making one of the finest wines in the world. For us that means quality is the yardstick by which we measure everything. There is no room for shortcuts from the dirt the grapes grow in to the barrel it is aged in. Every step of the process is critical to the outcome. I applied this same uncompromising focus to the development of Vintner’s Daughter.
3. With twenty-two different active ingredients in the serum, how did you go about selecting them?
We chose the most high-quality, nutrient-rich and results-driven botanicals in the world. As important, we left them whole in order to extract their full range of activity. We believe this is critical to making a product of uncompromising quality and efficacy. Plants are intrinsically balanced and naturally provide skin both performance and nourishment. Using only one active ingredient misses the larger picture. This is how Active Botanical Serum is at once highly active and super balancing. We take advantage of every part of the plant – all the minerals, the vitamins, and the fatty acids. Because skin is made from the same nutritive building blocks, it knows what to do with Active Botanical Serum and becomes more balanced, bright and healthy.
4. Vintner’s Daughter has been hailed as “The Face Oil to End All Face Oils”, why do you think it has resonated with so many people?
Active Botanical Serum was researched and formulated to be my desert island product. I wanted one product that would do everything and do it at the highest level of performance. I didn’t want to compromise non-toxic for performance and vice versa. Because we addressed my issues at such a foundational level, almost all skin types benefit – acne, rosacea, hormonal, etc. I think this multi-correctional idea resonated with a lot of busy, high performing woman. It delivers life’s true luxuries: quality, performance and time-savings all in one.
5. You use the traditional and pain staking technique of enfleurage to release and infuse nutrients from other plants into your foundation oils. Can you tell us about the process and why you chose to do it this way?
Enfleurage is an ancient method of extraction. It honours and protects every part of the plant to ensure a full range of the plant’s nutrition is infused into the foundation oil. It is very time-consuming and expensive, but there is no other way to provide the skin with as much optimal and skin-beautifying nutrition. We don’t believe you can isolate specific active ingredients from a plant. That active will never perform as well as it would if the full range of vitamins, minerals, protein, and fatty acids were there. Nature provides the perfect balance.
6. The raw ingredients are all sourced from small providers and family farms, why was this important to you?
I come from a family of farmers. I have a deep respect for the women and men who dedicate their lives to agricultural pursuits. We are proud to work with so many small family farms that in many case shave been in operation for generations making one particular ingredient.
7. Vintner’s Daughter is a company built on principles of purity, quality, efficacy and honouring the earth. How does this translate in your own day-to-day life?
Most fundamentally it translates into a profound sense of gratitude for the earth and all she provides.
8. Can you tell us about your beauty routine?
I am all about simple but super effective. I cleanse, tone and apply Vintner’s Daughter using Push / Press. I add an additional layer of moisture depending on what is going on with my skin. The rest of my beauty routine consists of balanced nutrition (no refined sugar, cow dairy or gluten), movement, spirituality, friends and family. It’s a bit corny, but I believe true beauty is a light from within. It’s hard to describe. You know it when you feel it yourself or see it in others. Maybe its equal parts truth, intention and magic.
9. You have two young daughters, what advice, wisdom or example do you try to communicate to them when it comes to beauty?
They aren’t old enough yet to get too deep on the subject, but they know beauty is a twinkle in the eye, being brave, showing kindness to others, always being thankful for what they have and sharing it.
10. What is next for Vintner’s Daughter, any new products, projects or developments you can share with us?
We are focused on creating the very finest products in the world. Active Botanical Serum took over two years to formulate. I imagine our next product will take as long or longer. We don’t want to just put something out there to fill shelf space. It must fill a real skincare need in the most effective, toxin-free way.
11. Tell us about Vintner’s Daughter’s charitable work.
We joyfully donate 2% of every bottle sold to charities benefitting woman and children around the world. Our mission is to change women’s lives and charitable giving is another aspect of that.
12. What does the idea of conscious living mean to you?
This is quite simple for me, but not always easy. I try to live by Buddhist principles of right action, right speech, right thought. I also have a daily gratitude practice that is incredibly grounding.
13. Vintner’s Daughter has gained widespread acclaim and many celebrity endorsements since its debut. When was your “pinch me” moment or the moment you realized you had created something that resonated in the market?
Our first big break was about a year after our launch when Into The Gloss wrote an article titled “The Face Oil to End All Face Oils.” I was 8 months pregnant with my second daughter and was still managing all order fulfillment myself. It was a crazy next couple of weeks and we have slowly (by design) grown from there.
14. This product is made up of ingredients sourced from all over the world, from Spain to Bulgaria. Share with us some of your favorite places outside of California to spend your personal time.
I have a terrible wanderlust and would be traveling all the time if I could, but I don’t like to travel without my family, so I generally roll deep with everyone in tow even to business trips which we try to make fun and adventurous. My favorite places that we have been are the Lake region of Italy, Jose Ignacio, Hanalei, Ketchum, Tokyo, Los Angeles, Madrid, Lake Tahoe, and Venice. We have trips planned to Mexico City and Utah soon, so hopefully I’ll have a few more places to add to the love it list.
15. One of my favorite qualities about Vintner’s Daughter is the lovely fragrance it has. To what do you attribute its aromatics?
Would you believe that not a single ingredient was added for scent? Each ingredient was chosen because of its multi-correctional affect on the skin. The scent was a very pleasant surprise.
Thank you April for making such a beautiful, quality product and for sharing your story!