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What’s it like to have zero shyness and put your life out there for all to see? Dredging up incidents from the past to share with others, joke about and rehash the toughest life lessons is not only cathartic but also healing. Vince Spinnato dives deep into his life and sharing his world with the world. With his memoir, My Pursuit of Beauty: A Cosmetic Chemist Reveals The Glitz, The Glam and The Batsh*t Crazy, Spinnato shares the inner workings of the multi-billion-dollar beauty industry.

How does it feel to have your life’s story (so far) documented and shared with others?

I’m thrilled about it and have zero shyness about putting my life “out there” because I want to help other entrepreneurs learn from my mistakes and reach their personal and business goals. It’s also been life changing, like a weight being lifted.

You share many personal stories that are very raw. How did revisiting these moments affect you? 

It was tough, for sure, and I shed lots of tears, but telling my story from beginning to end was more cathartic than my years of therapy. Because I’m seriously dyslexic, I had to dictate into a recorder instead of typing it onto a computer screen. Dredging up incidents like the time I was so badly gay bashed at college that I ended up in the hospital was horrific, but it helped put it behind me. I’m hoping the story will help others know they can and will survive when life goes very wrong. Another incident, my flight post 9/11 that was almost shot down by fighter pilots, still gives me goosebumps. Most devastating was losing both my parents close to one another, as well as the death of my boyfriend due to an overdose. Talking about them helped bring a modicum of closure.

What do you hope readers will learn from reading your book?

I often joke with people and say, “Read my book and then don’t do anything I did.” But I honestly hope they’ll have some takeaways: never take no for an answer, just approach it from a different direction. Hang in there. Persevere until you reach your goals. And believe in yourself.

How have your past struggles shaped the person you are now?

For decades I was so naïve that I trusted everyone—lovers, business colleagues, so-called friends, and they took advantage of me. The crazy thing was that they had to betray me over and over before I finally recognized what was happening. During the last few years, I’ve hardened, which is good for self-protection but not necessarily the best way to be. I have always believed people are good, but now I’m wary. I watch out for lies, manipulation and broken promises from people in Hollywood that’s built around smoke and mirrors. I’m not necessarily on edge any longer, but I’m on high alert which is why my ghost writer and publisher are in Atlanta, Ga., where life moves at a slower pace and people tend to be kinder. Recently, I’ve modeled my business practices after Aretha Franklin and Mahalia Jackson who always said, pay me up front, then I’ll put on a performance.

What is the writing process like when working with a ghostwriter?

With all my learning disabilities, there is no way I could have done it without my ghost writer. The thing I had going for me was a nearly photographic memory. Telling my story to Mickey Goodman turned my life into a comprehensive story made it possible.

What are your beliefs surrounding ‘beauty’?

For decades I hated the way I looked and had far too many plastic surgeries. Despite the quote in the front of my book: “Beauty comes from within…jars, bottles and tubes,” I came to realize that beauty on the outside is strictly superficial. True beauty comes from the inside out. I’m not attracted Hollywood types who sit in the chairs of famous Hollywood makeup artists for hours on end. The women I admire most who look gorgeous without makeup, or just a light dusting of powder and lipstick.

What first inspired your interest in the cosmetic industry?

When I was 10, I didn’t like “boy stuff” like ball games, playing cowboy, fishing or hunting. My favorite activity was sitting on my grandmother’s couch watching the TV soap, “The Young and the Restless.” Every. Single. Day. The show revolved around Abbott family’s perfume business, Jabot, that became such an obsession that I began creating scents in my sister’s Easy Bake Oven. My dream never died, and at age 20, I took off for Hollywood to develop skincare products for rich and glamorous people like I saw on TV. It took a number of years learning the business before I was able to launch TurnKey Beauty, Inc.

Tell us a little bit about TurnKey Beauty, Inc.

After studying my craft for a number of years, I founded Turnkey Beauty, Inc., as a one-stop company that could develop beauty products for celebrities, brands, retail companies and private and white label products. We handle developing, testing, bottling, packaging, labeling, barcoding, global translation and distribution. And yes, all that goes into bringing every skincare product to market. One of my first celebrity clients was Jennifer Lopez who asked me to create a perfume which she named “Still.” It remains on shelves today. She was followed by Michael Jordan, Gwen Stephani, Jessica Simpson, Lindsay Lohan, Damone Roberts and scores of others.
Today my skincare and bath & beauty lines also include Aegean Skincare, LLC, Vincenzo Skincare, LLC., and VS Vincenzo Ltd. Inc,

What projects lay on the horizon for you?

I’m currently working on a skincare line for a renown plastic surgeon and creating a “post mortem” fragrance for a Hollywood legend. My latest luxury product, Caviar and Diamond, is made from real caviar (yes, those little black fish eggs) and diamond sirt (dust) that are crazy good for the skin.

How important is it to you to ‘pay it forward’?

It’s extremely important to me. Shortly after my father and grandfather died, I established two scholarships in the arts at Vineland High School in New Jersey, to honor both who were well known musicians. I named it The Professor Enrico Serra & Vincent Spinnato Sr. Scholarship and personally present the awards every year. They’re each worth $20,000 over four years.

Because water is essential to health and wellness, I’m working with Wells of Life, a non-profit that provides reliable water projects to communities in African nations. Last year I sponsored my first water well in Uganda. There will be more to come.

True confession: my pet project is volunteering with the Wounded Warriors project with my beautiful English Mastiff, Savannah, a certified comfort dog. I’ve owned three other English Mastiffs—Sable, Falon and Alexis—named after the female characters in my favorite-of-all-times TV show, “Dynasty.” All have come from the same lineage and have become amazingly pets who grew into 200 pounds of pure love.

I’ve recently established a non-profit called Tric-Stars to create a community for people like me who suffer from trichotillomania, a hair pulling disorder. I’m also working on products that will reduce the tricsters’ irresistible urge to continue pulling their hair

Interview provided by:

Award-winning Canadian authors, Jenna Greene (YA Fantasy) and Miranda Oh (Contemporary Chick lit) pair up to provide you with engaging interviews with authors from all genres to give you a sneak peak into their lives and writing styles.