Do beauty and brains go together? A few years ago, Jasmina Aganovic might have said no. That was back when she had her sights set on a career in investment banking or sales and trading — not skin care.
But after stints at local startups Fresh and Living Proof, the MIT-trained chemical and biological engineer decided to pursue her lifelong passion for skin care by creating her own line of products. Based in Cambridge, her company, Stages of Beauty, offers creams, cleansers, and serums that address the skin’s changing biological needs during each decade of a -woman’s life: “Radiance” (twenties), “Harmony” (thirties), “Elegance” (forties), and “Grace” (fifties-plus). Partly inspired by the tests she conducted on skin samples as an under-graduate, the age-specific elixirs fill a gap that 24-year-old Aganovic saw in the beauty market.
“You’d go to the store and pick up a product, and then a woman who’s 30 years older than you would pick up the same thing. It really makes you wonder what it’s doing for her skin versus what it’s doing for yours,” she says.
The original proof of concept came when women of all ages tried Stages of Beauty last winter. Aganovic says she received positive feedback from participants, particularly regarding the regimen’s ability to protect the skin against cold, dry air.
Her expanding line is available only on her website, and Aganovic has no plans to open a store. Rather, she’s experimenting with “social selling,” or mobilizing consultants to spread the word to friends and family and sell items via individual e-commerce sites (for commission). Thankfully, better skin is an easy sell.
Q&A with Jasmina Aganovic
Drink of choice?
Advice to live by?
Don’t take yourself too seriously.
Favorite sports bar?
Grafton Street. “They broadcast tennis matches, which I appreciate.”
Henrietta’s Table, Oishii, and Café Luna.
The City of Marvels by Eduardo Mendoza, a book about Barcelona, where Aganovic spent some time between jobs. “I’m missing that whole traveling feel.”
Best St. Patrick’s Day in Boston?
“In college, I had a friend who was from Belfast, Ireland, so he was quite patriotic. He would always throw a big party — it was a day that had to be celebrated very seriously with him.”