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June 13, 2024
Indie Brands

Prideful Beauty Pioneer: Steven Cannizzo

Evelyn Wiseman

This June, Novi Connect is proud to spotlight Steven Cannizzo. For nearly 20 years Steven has been working in the beauty industry, with a sharp focus on building inclusive brands for a better planet. He’s currently VP at Peach & Lily overseeing two beloved brands, and he has no plans to slow down.

Can you tell us a little bit about your history in the beauty space? You’ve done so much in so many areas of our industry!

I started my career in beauty 20 years ago working at Sephora when I was recruited after applying some make-up to a colleague. That moment changed the trajectory of my life forever. I went from pursuing a career in medicine to diving into beauty head first. I switched my major to Chemistry and got my esthetician license. I immersed myself in all levels of the industry. I have worked my way up from freelancing in beauty to becoming a national makeup artist, a global skincare educator and now a Vice President of two amazing brands, Peach & Lily and Peach Slices.

What is it you love so much about your current role at Peach and Lily?

They say when you do what you love you never work a day in your life and I truly believe that rings true here at Peach & Lily. Every member of my team makes my job so rewarding. At the top of my list of what I love is being able to collaborate with like-minded individuals that want to change and sculpt the beauty world for the better.

Peach and Lily is an excellent example of a beauty brand that has shot up quickly while maintaining integrity in the clean and sustainability space. Can you speak to this?

Being a clean and sustainable beauty brand is certainly not for the faint of heart. It takes a concerted effort day in and day out to maintain a high standard of care for sustainability and ingredient integrity. Our team has always found this to be second nature because it is at the heart of our passion within the industry. Our founder, Alicia Yoon, keeps that passion ablaze in all that she does. For us there is no point in beauty that creates anything “ugly” at any step of its process. Beauty is more than what we see in the mirror every day. Beauty needs to reflect even in the smallest facet of the products that are being created and used, from the ingredients and packaging to the community it serves, they’re all part of the journey. 

Where do you see the future of beauty going?

The future of beauty is innovation. I see the industry striving to create more solutions for ingredient and package stability and sustainability. We are constantly pushing to create better and more effective products that continue to keep community and environment at its heart. 

What other clean and sustainable beauty brands do you admire?

Working with Peach and Lily has surely raised my standards on what I look for in a clean and sustainable brand, so the list has shrunk considerably over the years. The brands that are close to my heart certainly shine in the clean and sustainable beauty space. Brands like:

  • BLOOMEFFECTS, which not only has an amazing story but a wonderful brand ethos
  • KORRES, where my love of clean and sustainable beauty was sparked
  • ILIA, with their amazing attention to makeup powered by skincare and sustainability
  • RMS Beauty, they are incredible multitaskers for the clean beauty seeker with the highest standards

As a leader in the LGBTQ+ beauty community, what are some brands you want to show some love to? Be they LGBTQ-founded or simply inclusive as they create their brand and products.

Brands that are standing out to me in the community are Beekman 1802, whose message of kindness really resonates with me and also the brand Made By Mitchell who is setting the standard for inclusivity in the cosmetics world.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone starting out in the beauty industry, what would it be?

Be your most authentic self! Gone are the days of needing a specific “corporate” persona to get ahead in this industry. People and brands want to work with the real you and not a watered version. Be your most bold and brilliant self and you will attract the right people and brands to your corner. 

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