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Janna Mandell

Freelance Beauty Journalist for Forbes, the San Francisco Chronicle; Strategic Advisor; Content Creator

Location icon United States

Janna Mandell is a San Francisco Bay Area-based Strategic Advisor and journalist covering everything beauty: innovative companies, runway and industry trends, disrupting indie brands, the green beauty movement, and the spa industry. She has been called a trendspotter by industry peers for her early coverage of trends like the Korean beauty craze and the natural beauty boom years before hitting the mainstream. In her reporting, she has interviewed everyone from CEOs to celebrity makeup artists to Gwyneth Paltrow. Janna has written several in-depth company profiles for Forbes and the S.F. Chronicle on companies like Benefit Cosmetics, e.l.f., and FOREO. Janna has also created marketing content for Kendo brands Marc Jacobs Beauty and Kat Von D as well as acted as a strategic consultant for other companies. Previously, she was an executive on Wall Street, running strategy, business development and sales for an electronic trading company.

Portfolio
SFChronicle.com
08/24/2018
Are next-generation fast beauty brands worth the hype?

Before the days of Instagram's #Instastories and r/MakeupAddiction on Reddit, young women got their makeup inspiration from glossy magazines and the local beauty counter. The trajectory usually involved starting one's teen years with Clinique and MAC, and eventually graduating to Chanel and Dior.

SFChronicle.com
08/20/2018
How Botnia skin-care line started in Sausalito founder's backyard

When Botnia skin-care founder Justine Kahn and her husband bought their home in Sausalito in 2010, it was a "contractor's special" to say the least. The house was leaning to one side like the famous tower in Pisa and was accessible only via a ladder.

SFChronicle.com
07/11/2018
Summer skin-care solutions by microclimate

Summer weather in the Bay Area means different things depending on where you live - cold and dreary in the city, foggy and windy in Mill Valley and scorching everywhere else. If you commute between microclimates, how do you expect your skin to survive all that change?

SFChronicle.com
06/29/2018
Spas embrace cannabis-infused massage rituals

It takes a second for your eyes to adjust when you enter Earthbody, a day spa in Hayes Valley. Once you've settled on the dimly lit pillowed banquette, a spa employee brings you paperwork along with a tray of goodies to begin your cannabis ritual.

Forbes
05/22/2018
Saks Fifth Avenue Rolls The Dice By Moving Beauty Department Off Ground Floor

Talk to any beauty-product enthusiast and she probably has an early memory of her first visit to the beauty floor at her local department store. Stepping in from the drab parking lot into a magical world where heavily made-up women offered perfume spritzes, vivid signage showed pouting models in glossy bright makeup, and glass cabinets filled with tubes, bottles and jars sang their siren songs of glamour and smooth skin.

SFChronicle.com
05/17/2018
Tatcha CEO's book takes a beauty lesson from the geisha culture

Victoria Tsai, founder and CEO of San Francisco beauty brand Tatcha, wants you to forget everything you learned from the best-selling book "Memoirs of a Geisha." The Harvard Business School-educated Tsai would know; she based her entire brand on the beauty rituals of the geisha.

Forbes
04/06/2018
The Alchemist And The Scientist: How Strange Bedfellows Created The Future Of Skincare

The first thing you notice when you open the door to luxury botanical skincare brand In Fiore's studio and showroom in San Francisco is the scent - otherworldly yet grounded, like Big Sur after the rain. The showroom itself looks like an old-world apothecary: wood and glass cabinets filled with etched bottles and jars housing potent balms, oils, and other skincare and fragrance potions.

Forbes
03/27/2018
Strand Equity Declares 'Youth To The People' With Minority Investment

Los Angeles-based vegan skincare company Youth to the People (YTTP) announced today they received a minority investment from private equity firm Strand Equity, also based in Los Angeles, to further expand the brand and fuel growth. Details of the transaction were not disclosed.

Forbes
01/24/2018
Why Amazon Isn't Ready To Dominate Beauty (Yet)

Reading through recent headlines about Amazon disrupting the beauty industry, one would think that it's time for Sephora and Ulta to panic and rethink their strategies. Yes, I know the power of Amazon and how it's eating almost every retail sector's lunch.

Forbes
01/16/2018
Cannabis Could Be The Most Profitable Ingredient In Skincare, If The U.S. Government Allows It

Lord Jones co-founder Cindy Capobianco describes her luxury cannabis-infused product business in much the same manner as any maker of a prestige natural skincare brand: it's made in small batches, organic ingredients, medicinal value of said ingredients. With a body lotion and face products slated for release later this year, Lord Jones is trying to be a prestige natural skincare brand.

San Francisco Chronicle
Clean beauty swaps: It's time to go nontoxic

Gone are the days of having to give up performance to swap out a conventional beauty product for a nontoxic option. Thanks to recent innovations from "green" chemistry and rapid growth in the industry, many clean products are outperforming their conventional counterparts.

San Francisco Chronicle Style Section
03/19/2017
A Squeeze of Star Power

Juice Beauty Backer Spreads Message of Clean Cosmetics

San Francisco Chronicle, Style Section
01/08/2017
Put Your Best Face Forward

Julie Lynge's facial massage targets jaw pain and adds a rejuvenating lift

San Francisco Chronicle Style Section
04/27/2017
Bite Lip Lab offers possibility of that perfect shade

Looking through the windows of the Bite Beauty Lip Lab on Fillmore, you might mistake the lip boutique for a candy store. The shelves are lined with jars full of brightly hued pellets, and there are stools set up around high tables. The glass case at checkout looks to be stocked with candy-colored truffles.

San Francisco Chronicle
08/26/2016
Neve & Hawk combines creativity and commerce

On a recent Saturday morning at Neve & Hawk in San Anselmo, the boutique's namesakes are making themselves at home. The owners' 9-year-old daughter, Neve, is working the register - and getting a lecture from her mother, Kris Galmarini, on giving the correct change.

San Francisco Chronicle, Style Section
03/27/2016
Rockin' a Runway Look

Reporter experiences how makeup artist interprets runway trends for the every day woman.

San Francisco Chronicle, Style Section
02/25/2016
Backstage beauty notes from 10 top fashion shows

NEW YORK - Skin was the star again this season with models' faces that looked scrubbed clean until they caught the bright lights on the New York Fashion Week runways, revealing soft palettes of iridescent pinks and nudes.

San Francisco Chronicle
Tata Harper is comfortable in her skin

The first thing you'll notice about Tata Harper is her ethereal, glowing complexion. Harper's eponymous skin-care line, adored by celebrities and beauty editors, is known for its natural ingredients and high degree of efficacy. [...] Harper is opening her first-ever spa room for facials and other skin treatments inside Credo, where we spoke to her while she was in town putting on its finishing touches.

San Francisco Chronicle
Credo a showcase for natural beauty

When Shashi Batra, founder of new beauty boutique Credo in Pacific Heights, talks about Credo's featured brands his face lights up and he transforms into a proud parent. A longtime veteran of the beauty industry (Batra brought a little shop called Sephora to the U.S.

San Francisco Chronicle, Style Section
02/14/2016
Bay Area Bliss

You don’t need to travel far for a relaxing, rejevenating spa day

The Huffington Post
02/08/2016
3 Must-Have Beauty Treatments for New York Fashion Week

Not all members of the media and attendees and of New York Fashion Week strut from their trendy apartments in recently gentrified neighborhoods on Day 1 rearing to go. Some of us who cover fashion week actually come from far away lands like, in my case, the hippy hills of Fairfax, CA.

The Huffington Post
01/29/2016
Planning the Perfect "I F'd Up" Romantic Wine Country Weekend

You really did it this time... It doesn't matter if it was going away for a boys' weekend on her birthday or drunkenly flirting with her friend at a party, you're going to need to plan one hell of a Valentine's Day weekend to make up for your errant ways.

San Francisco Chronicle
Best Bay Area Beauty Finds (Cover Story)

From manis to massages, brows to braids, stylish insiders share their top recommendations of transformative services and top practitioners: Jeannie Jarnot is founder and CEO of Beauty Heroes, a curated beauty subscription-box service featuring luxury nontoxic brands like True Nature Botanicals, Vintner's Daughter and In Fiore.

San Francisco Chronicle
Silicon Valley stylist takes clients beyond the hoodie

Damon Schechter emerges from the dressing room at Denim & Soul on Union wearing olive green cords, plaid shirt, cashmere hoodie and a denim shirt as a jacket and exclaims, "I would have never thought of putting this outfit together!" His style consultant Victoria Hitchcock quickly goes to work cuffing his sleeves and fixing his collars.

The Huffington Post
12/15/2015
5 Slightly Passive-Aggressive Gifts for Him

Sure, he may have put a signed basketball from Steph Curry and a Beer of the Month Club on his wish list, but really, does he "need" those things? Is he actually going to admire that ball every day or is it just going to sit in a tacky plastic case on your mantle?

San Francisco Chronicle, Style Section
11/01/2015
Facial Goes Beyond Skin Deep

Kristina Holey brings pioneering French massage technique to S.F.

San Francisco Chronicle, Style Section
10/18/2015
THE BROW WHISPERER

Michele Holmes brings an expert eye, gentle products to tame, tease or transform eyebrows

San Francisco Chronicle
09/24/2015
Put your best face forward: Our favorite facials

Getting a facial can be a bit intimidating. It's like using an online dating site - you know people who swear by it and others who have been burned. Or perhaps you've actually been scarred by overly aggressive extractions or too-harsh exfoliations in the past.

San Francisco Chronicle
06/28/2015
Cover Story: MEET THE NEXT GENERATION OF NATURAL BEAUTY PRODUCTS

Making similar decisions about the cosmetics and skin care you put on your body, however, has traditionally been more difficult, with fuzzy terminology and little industry regulation leading to confusion about what's organic, natural - or toxic.

San Francisco Chronicle
N.Y. Fashion Week's makeup artists let cosmetics multitask

At Marc by Marc Jacobs, noted makeup artist Diane Kendal used Marc Jacobs Beauty Lip Lock Moisture Balm as a highlighter to accentuate models' cheekbones and eye contours. $24, www.sephora.com. The Nars Matte Multiple in Cappadoce earned its namesake at shows like Alexander Wang and Naeem Khan, where makeup artists applied the traditional blush and lipstick on eyelids.

San Francisco Chronicle
Benefit Cosmetics traces its success to being born in S.F.

Talk to any employee at Benefit Cosmetics' Bush Street headquarters or Bay Area boutiques and you can expect to hear about the "DNA of the brand" as well as its motto, "Laughter is the best cosmetic." Today, on the heels of the 25th anniversary of its San Francisco boutique openings, Benefit is poised to become a billion-dollar company, "exporting" its quintessentially S.F.

Marketing Content

WWD
05/30/2017
Think Tank: Taking Cues From the Playbook of Digital-First Brands

Browse the recent headlines of retail trades and you will get nothing but a picture of doom and gloom - how Amazon and social media are killing the country's bricks-and-mortar retail locations. How is it, though, that retailers like Ulta Beauty are able to grow in these tumultuous times when their department store rivals are closing locations and filing for bankruptcy?

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