Monday, December 02, 2013

Making Sense of Sonya Dakar Skin Care

It's Complicated

Why Two (Now) Wholly Separate Skincare Lines Have the Same Name and How to Distinguish the Two

BeansTalk Explains It All (Well, Sort of...)

It's what you live in: your skin. And while we're not as fresh-faced as we once were, we still care about our skin. Frankly, we mostly credit whatever good-skin days to our pretty stress-free life, but we do have help. BeansTalk has often written about our favorite skin-care products (this article ends with a refresher of those "love it" items).

One product we've often mentioned is Sonya Dakar's Omega-3 for Irritation (BeansTalk has delicate skin, like "rice-paper," the CFO is fond of saying).

Years ago -- we're talking more than a decade -- we worked at this magazine you may heard of, People (and not, as our friend and People West Coast Bureau Coordinator Cece de la Paz notes, as many call it, Peoples magazine).

We were introduced, in a most circuitous way, to Sonya Dakar, a larger-than-life intrepid facialist-to-the-stars. Hers was a classic entrepreneurial tale, as she and her family immigrated, in 1977, to the United States from Israel and began cooking-up miraculous skin-care potions in her kitchen. In the course of the article we wrote about her, we spent a good deal of time around Sonya, her family, and her products.

In the last four years, it's been -- as our title notes -- complicated and confusing, as an intensely personal family rift spilt onto the professional, eventually creating a seemingly irreparable split between two factions of what was once the family-run Sonya Dakar Skincare line. The business name, Mindys, represents the first letters of the family members of the iconic Sonya, and her behind-the-scenes chemist husband, Israel, and their four children.

We don't need to know any of the particulars or personalities (if you're curious, just do a Google search -- information is out there).

However, despite the fact that we remain (albeit on the periphery) invested and involved with the beauty industry (thanks to this blog), we didn't realize, until a couple of years ago, Sonya Dakar was no longer associated with the initial skincare line that bears her name. We went to her Beverly Hills salon to purchase the aforementioned Omega-3, she took us aside and told us she was starting her own, organic line.

As we understand it now, the dust (and what a dust-up it was) has finally "settled." Understandably, Sonya Dakar now has the legal rights to her own name, and her now ex-husband Israel and their son Nate own the original formulas.

Those original, as well as new, post-split-developed lines, can be found on the web as Sonya herself (along with her three other children) has her own line, which can be found at

But, still not so simple. Eventually,  Israel's and Nate's original and new formulations will become the "Ultraluxe" Skin Care Line (IMHO, we think it would be much less generic, easier-to-remember, unique and significant, if they'd just changed it to Dakar or even Israel Dakar Skin Care).

Got that? The original Sonya Dakar Skin Care line and the formulations first introduced to clients (who include a bevy of celebrities, including Gwyneth Paltrow, Kirsten Dunst, Paula Abdul, Drew Barrymore, India Arie, and a host of others) will become Ultraluxe, and what will be exclusively Sonya Dakar Skin Care will be Sonya's line (a business she runs with her children, Mimi, Donna and Yigal).

To make it even easier, here are some photos:
Sonya Dakar and the founder of GOOP