Friday, February 19, 2021

Big ideas from a small publisher: Vince Spinnato talks about his memoir: My Pursuit of Beauty: A cosmetic Chemist Reveals the Glitz, The Glam and the Batsh*t Crazy


With thanks to Kathy Murphy, founder of the fabulous Pulpwood Queens!

Cosmetic chemist and “certified nose” Vince Spinnato began his career in the personal care, cosmetic and fine fragrance industries more than 25 years ago. As president and CEO of TurnKeyBeauty, Inc., VS Vincenzo Ltd., Inc., Aegean Skincare, LLC and Vincenzo Skincare, LLC, Spinnato has formulated and developed hundreds of products for skin and hair care, color cosmetics, bath &body and fine fragrances. His latest luxury product, Caviar &Diamonds, debuted in 2020 under the Vincenzo Skincare brand. Considered an expert in his field, Spinnato has been a contributor to Vogue, Vanity Fair, Harper’s Bazaar, W, Esquire, GQ, Whole Foods Magazine, Health News Digest, Riviera, and more. His memoir, My Pursuit of Beauty: A Cosmetic Chemist Reveals The Glitz, The Glam and The Batsh*t Crazy debuted on January 10, 2021. A documentary about his life will also be aired in 2021. Spinnato’s celebrity clients include Jennifer Lopez, Gwen Stefani, Khloe Kardashian, Lorna Luft, Carrie Underwood, Victoria Beckham, Seth MacFarlane, Jessica Simpson, Michael Jordon, Lindsay Lohan and others.

Thank you for being here, Vince!


I always feel that authors are somehow haunted into writing their books. What was haunting you about the story you wrote?


After being in therapy for about 30 years, I couldn’t stand hearing myself talk for another minute. In the middle of a session, I stood up and said, “I’m done!” My psychiatrist looked at me and said, “Why don’t you write a book?”


The next day, I got out my tape recorder and started talking. I decided that I wanted to use my crazy life story as a source of lifting people up. Seven years later, after it was transcribed, I realized that there was no way people would want to read it. Instead of giving it the old heave ho, I hired Mickey Goodman to be my ghost writer. It’s been a fun California/Georgia collaboration.


What kind of writer are you? Do you map things out or wait for the Muse?


Since I recorded my story, there was definitely no outline involved. I passed that fun job to Mickey! My only attempt at “order” was to name each chapter after the cars I drove during that period of my life. For instance, I drove a 1993 black BMW coupe from New Jersey to California at age 20 to launch my career. And because I thought that owning a fancy car gave the appearance of success, I immediately traded it for a 1995 3251 Mercedes convertible, then “downgraded” to a less expensive Mercedes. I fell so far behind in the payments that it was repo’d. So much for appearing rich and famous!


What’s obsessing you now and why?


A lot of things! I’m putting the final touches on a documentary about my work and life that will air later this year. I’ve also been extremely busy doing Zoom interviews with book reviewers and on-air personalities to promote, My Pursuit of Beauty. But my main obsession is launching my latest luxury skincare product line, Caviar and Diamond, the first ever under my own brand, VS Vincenzo. Throughout the years, my primary business has been TurnKey Beauty, Inc. where I have created products for celebrities, brands, private label, white label and retail companies. Oh yeah, I’ve also been working my buns off to keep that business afloat during Covid-19.


What question didn’t I ask that I should have?


Soon after the tragic death of my beloved Grandmother Serra, I developed trichotillomania, a hair pulling disorder brought on by extreme trauma. It’s one of those conditions that tricksters try to hide, and I want to let them know that it’s okay to “come out.” Recently, a number of celebrities have come forward including Megan Fox, Charlize Theron, Justin Timberlake, Katy Perry, Leonardo DiCaprio and more. We all hope to encourage others to do the same. I’m also in the process of developing products that will discourage hair pulling, an obsession which sometimes left me nearly bald, as well as other products to help sufferers regrow the hair they’ve pulled out.


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