Vanessa Torke of Hanley Falls said making her own cosmetics and beauty products is kind of like cooking.
"Everything is made from scratch with my own recipes," Torke said.
For the last two years, Torke has created a line of natural bath and beauty products and mineral makeup under the name Nessa's Naturals.
Vanessa Torke, right, applies a cheek satin to Amanda Pudil as Wendy Kuehn looks on. Torke has created natural bath and beauty products and mineral makeups that she sells at seven retail locations, including Italy Ava in Marshall and the River Valley Spa in Granite Falls as well as online, women’s expos and craft fairs.
Torke said she started making her own products a few years ago.
"I started reading ingredient labels and I didn't want that on my skin or my children's (skin)," Torke said.
Torke started by making lip balm in 2006.
"I was giving it as gifts to family," she said. Lotion bars came next, she said. In 2010, she started Nessa's Naturals and expanded her product line. Products include "sugah" scrubs, body creams, eye shadows and liners, base soaps, foot soaks, dry oil body mists and much more.
Torke said that her own skin has never looked or felt better since using her own creations.
Torke said research goes into creating her products, which includes updates.
"I always try to improve on recipes," Torke said. "I always know I can do better." Recently Torke reformulated all her lip balms.
"And they're super-moisturizing," she said.
Torke also has a couple of personal consultants on her team - Amanda Pudil, an esthetician from Lynd, and Wendy Kuehn, a cosmetologist from Echo.
Torke said there are several benefits from using natural products.
"The ingredients are more skin-friendly," Torke said. She said there is less skin irritation and breakouts.
"It lets your skin breathe," Pudil said.
"It feels better," Kuehn said.
Torke said she names all of her products with "just whimsical and fun names." And the last time she counted, she had more than 160 eyeshadow colors.
She'll also do seasonal items, such as caramel apple and pumpkin for fall.
Torke is a stay-at-home mom and finds time to create her products between school days.
She said she listens to praise music while she's making different items.
In her products, Torke uses fragrance oils that are made without phthalates, which have become controversial because they can be an endocrine system disruptor.
Torke has shipped her products worldwide, which includes Australia, Canada, the Czech Republic and the United Kingdom.
She also has products in seven retail locations, such as Italy Ava in Marshall, River Valley Spa in Granite Falls, The Cellar Door in Dawson, Christa Landmark Photography and Boutique in Montevideo and Alexandria, Ali J Boutique in New London and Aviena in Sioux Falls, S.D. She also sells her products online at www.nessasnaturals.com and at expos.
When she sends out her products to customers, she wraps it up like a gift.
"I want it to be like a present they're opening," Torke said.
She's also had requests to do home parties and one day she would love to have her own building as she's running out of room at her house in order to create her products.
"I just feel very, very blessed," she said.
Torke said she gets many e-mails from women who show how beautiful they look by using her products.
"It really warms my heart to feel that way," she said.