Member Spotlight: Citrine Natural Beauty Bar
Integral to The Scout Guide Phoenix & Scottsdale’s mission is telling the stories behind the small businesses Scouted in each Volume. The story begins in print and continues online, after all. In anticipation of Volume 3, we’re thrilled to start our story-telling mission of new and returning scouted members through Member Spotlights.
Photographed by Shannon Gilpin.
From non-toxic sunscreens (a must in our desert environment) to sustainable skincare, clean beauty is redefining makeup and skincare routines worldwide. And, closer to home, Citrine Natural Beauty Bar is redefining Phoenix and Scottsdale’s access to the best in clean beauty.
Owned by the lovely Melissa Lenberg, Citrine is a one-stop shop for clean beauty with a meticulously curated selection of products to delight even the most discerning skincare experts and makeup artists. Yet, Citrine is more than a veritable haven for the product junkie. Combining extensive educational programming, personalized consults, and — of course — the latest and greatest in clean products, Citrine is an unparalleled local beauty resource.
Recently, we had the pleasure of chatting with Melissa about her decades in the beauty industry, her expertise in clean beauty and wellness, and why it’s so important to make the switch to non-toxic.
TSG Phoenix & Scottsdale: You’re a beauty industry veteran that got her start in cosmetics at age 15. When did you begin adopting clean beauty?
Melissa Lenberg: With a love for all things beauty, I dreamed of becoming a professional makeup artist from a young age. Even a rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis at age 18 couldn’t stop me and the same year, I moved to Los Angeles at 18 to follow my dreams. While in Los Angeles, I was exposed to the city’s quintessential health and wellness culture. That, in conjunction with a health diagnosis, inspired me to take a hard look at what I was putting in and on my body. I was shocked by the ingredients in the beauty products I was using and decided to make the switch to non-toxic, clean products in an attempt to heal my body.
TSG Phoenix & Scottsdale: What was your experience in making the switch?
Melissa Lenberg: As I learned more about everyday toxins and lessened my toxic load through clean beauty, I not only began to feel better, but friends and family began to notice the change, asking me what I’d been doing differently. I got a lot of compliments about my skin!
TSG Phoenix & Scottsdale: Naturally — no pun intended — this experience inspired Citrine…
Melissa Lenberg: Absolutely! When I made the switch, I knew I had to inspire others to do the same. After a transformative trip to Sedona, I watched the true powers of manifestation unfold. In fact, it was when I was meditating in Sedona that my vision of bringing this lifestyle came into focus. The business, the mission, the ideas all became clear to me. A week after returning from the trip, I found the perfect storefront, signed a lease, and Citrine was born!
Photographed by Shannon Gilpin.
TSG Phoenix & Scottsdale: What, specifically, was the vision for Citrine?
Melissa Lenberg: I believe no one should ever have to sacrifice health in exchange for self-care and that when we take care of our skin and our bodies from the inside, our bodies take care of us in return. My intention is that Citrine becomes the go-to clean beauty destination to experience that healing through high-vibrational products that will not only transform your skin and make you feel beautiful, but heal Mother Earth at the same time. Citrine is that belief comes to life in a glamorous, community-driven environment.
TSG Phoenix & Scottsdale: For those who haven’t experienced Citrine firsthand — and they must experience it firsthand to get the full, luxury effect — can you share how you achieve that vision?
Melissa Lenberg: We pride ourselves on a highly-selective curation process to bring the best in high-quality, completely clean, yet luxurious and glamorous beauty products. Every product in-store and online has been thoroughly vetted, from research to testing. We combine this lineup of world-class products with extensive education and pampering to empower our customers and help them feel their best, inside and out.
TSG Phoenix & Scottsdale: This is a great point to ask: what is clean beauty? We often see it paired with terms like non-toxic, organic, and the like…
Melissa Lenberg: The term “clean beauty” is convoluted and unregulated. In fact, it lacks any set standards, and the beauty industry is largely self-regulated. Anyone can claim a product is “clean.” However, at Citrine, we’ve set standards for what we consider to be truly “clean.”
TSG Phoenix & Scottsdale: How do you and Citrine define clean beauty?
Melissa Lenberg: At Citrine we define clean beauty as high-quality, high-vibrational products formulated with ingredients that have been scientifically proven to be safe in every aspect. Or in other words, we’ve sourced the most innovative brands formulated with the finest, toxin-free ingredients to offer the best in clean beauty.
TSG Phoenix & Scottsdale: What does that product curation process look like?
Melissa Lenberg: Our curation process is informed by three key pillars: quality and performance, key ingredients, and sustainability. First and foremost, the products we consider must be unparalleled in their formulations, packaging, and results. The ingredients found in those formulations must also be high-vibrational, clean (of course!), innovative, and sourced with supreme care. After passing these criteria, we consider sustainability. We only select ethical, transparent products, researching origins to ensure packaging is eco-conscious and high-quality ingredients are organically farmed and intentionally sourced. Only after passing those three pillars do we consider the product for our testing process to ensure it’s appropriate for ourselves and our customers. After being tested and approved by myself, our diverse team takes each product through a testing process to evaluate the efficacy, ease of application, and safety. Products that give a “wow” factor are approved.
Photographed by Shannon Gilpin.
TSG Phoenix & Scottsdale: We’re beginning to understand why education is such an integral part of the Citrine experience…
Melissa Lenberg: Beauty can be overwhelming and confusing. Experiences of leaving a beauty counter wondering if the product you purchased will work or trawling the internet for tutorials and advice are ubiquitous. And there’s so much information out there to digest about all forms of beauty and skincare products. At Citrine, we do the legwork for you so you can rest assured that every item you take home meets the criteria you deserve: luxurious, natural, conscious, non-toxic, and intentional.
TSG Phoenix & Scottsdale: You personally test each and every product that passes your key pillars. Do you have any current favorites readers need to add to their makeup bags or skincare routines?
Melissa Lenberg: Being completely hands on in the curation process affords me the opportunity to discover a ton of fabulous new brands and products. I actually curate a “Most Loved” list monthly to share my current favorite finds. This month [April 2023], I’m reaching for Tata Harper’s Revitalizing Body Oil for full body hydration, the fresh and flirty Florgasm perfume by Heretic, a bronze glow courtesy of Jane Iredale’s Refillable Purebronze Matte Bronzer, Tata Harper’s Concentrated Brightening Essence for skin prep and product absorption, and RMS Go Nude Lip Pencil!
TSG Phoenix & Scottsdale: Earlier, you mentioned that you’ve designed an experience that’s both educating and pampering. Can you speak to the pampering part?
Melissa Lenberg: In addition to hosting community-based events — from masterclasses with founders like Jena Covello of Agent Nateur to sound bowl healings — we’ve designed a personalized experience to inspire your clean beauty journey. Think: a one-on-one product education, skin analysis and consultation, mini facial, makeup application, hand massage, and flower essence treatment!
TSG Phoenix & Scottsdale: We can attest — it’s divine! And, we’d imagine, rewarding for you.
Melissa Lenberg: Empowering women around their beauty and self-care rituals is the most rewarding part of the work — aside from helping them transition to living a healthier lifestyle, of course.
TSG Phoenix & Scottsdale: For those that aren’t local, are there any ways they can experience Citrine and take advantage of your fabulous resources?
Melissa Lenberg: Absolutely! Citrine is not just a beauty store, it’s truly a community. In addition to store hours and hosting in-person events, anyone on a clean beauty journey can find resources, products, and support on CitrineNaturalSkin.com. From blog series like “Toss the Toxins” to virtual consultations, our intentionally curated selection of products to a Clean Beauty 101 Guide, we’re here to assist
Photographed by Shannon Gilpin.
TSG Phoenix & Scottsdale: Speaking of local, let’s talk about Citrine being a Phoenix-founded brand. Are there any other local favorites we should add to our list of health and wellness go-to’s?
Melissa Lenberg: I love Kaleidoscope Juicery, the Phoenix-founded True Food Kitchen, and Buddha Bella.
TSG Phoenix & Scottsdale: You’re originally from Arizona… What do you love about living and working in the Valley?
Melissa Lenberg: I love being in the desert, it’s so beautiful and offers so many ways to connect to nature.
TSG Phoenix & Scottsdale: And finally, a question we love to end our Member Spotlights with: How do you give back to your community?
Melissa Lenberg: This is such a great question and I’m thrilled to that share we’ve built supporting our community into the Citrine business plan. I’m even more thrilled to share how well it’s been received by our customers. We give back with every Glam Bag, a gift with purchase event that clients love. Most recently, our Glam Bags have been supporting Phoenix Dream Center in their fight to end human and child trafficking, a cause I’m passionate about.
Whether you’re making the switch or fully committed to clean, a visit to Citrine Natural Beauty Bar’s flagship location at The Biltmore (2502 E Camelback Road, Suite 166) is a must. It’s a veritable haven for the beauty aficionado with a passion for clean makeup, wellness, skin, and hair products.
Not local? Find an abundance of information and inspiration — plus all of Citrine’s expertly curated products — online and follow along on Instagram to connect with their community. Don’t forget to tell them Scout sent you!