Katherine “Annie” Finch’s search to find cosmetics that withstand the heat and endure the elements of her active lifestyle, which includes sweat-inducing activities like horseback riding and yoga, turned up empty. To fill this void in the market and develop lifestyle products for her own daily agenda, which often begins with a workout and ends with a night out on the town, Finch launched Katherine Natural Cosmetics in 2014.
Having spent more than 20 years in the cosmetics world, working her way up the ranks at Estée Lauder, Finch came back to the industry out of “retirement,” she says with a laugh, to work alongside a chemist and product development testers to create her own dream products. As a fourth-generation Katherine, Finch is meticulous about the product details bearing her maternal family’s longstanding name. Using harmful chemicals and testing on animals are practices that will never have a place in her business.
“I did superlogical things that were the right thing to do,” Finch said. “For example, I created lip glosses—named after my horses—that are made with sunscreen. Starting from scratch and being a small company makes it easier to do the right thing.”
Finch incorporates ingredients such as arnica, aloe and vitamins C and E to her products, including her favorite, Eyeliner Solution, to help improve skin rather than just mask it.
Katherine’s A+ Friends lipstick collection currently includes 11 different shades, each named in honor of Finch’s closest friends. For every lipstick sale made, $1 is donated to the charity of that friend’s choosing. Additionally, each month a portion of sales from one rotating Katherine product is chosen to benefit a different cause.
Finch, a Rancho Santa Fe resident, opened a pop-up shop in Flower Hill Promenade last year that—due to demand—later became Katherine Natural Cosmetics’ flagship store. It’s a brand that has attracted so many devoted followers, its 2,000-plus makeup ambassadors across the country, known as Katherine Girls and Guys, proselytize online about its virtues.
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