While going through chemotherapy and radiation for breast cancer, Provvidenti experienced a common side effect from the treatments – extremely sensitive skin. The sensitive skin made it difficult for her wear makeup, due to the chemicals in the products.
Provvidenti decided to put her experience as a paramedical makeup artist to work. For seven months during her chemotherapy, she kept herself busy by creating a makeup line that people with sensitive skin could use. Provvidenti named the line Stella Bella, after her late mother.
Provvidenti found that bismuth, an irritant to the skin, was an ingredient in many “all-natural” mineral makeups. So when she created Stella Bella, Provvidenti developed a truly natural, bismuth-free makeup line. Stella Bella is a “cleaner” product to apply to the skin, according to Provvidenti.
Provvidenti sells her Stella Bella products both online and at Salon Boutique, where she offers “custom blending sessions.” These are personal sessions where either Provvidenti or tone of her employees finds a matching shade of makeup for a customer’s skin.
Stella Bella is currently marketed through email, Living Social, and customer referrals. It is easy to see why customer referrals work for Provvidenti because she places an emphasis on a customer’s experience. Provvidenti understands a woman’s need for “normalcy” when undergoing cancer treatment.
“Anyone who is touched by the makeup… that’s my favorite thing,” she said. “When I can take someone and make them feel good about themselves, that’s the best part.”
A major part of being a woman is feeling confident in one’s own skin, Provvidenti said. Cancer can take away much of that confidence – including the ability to wear makeup.
“The disease takes over so much of your life. You no longer have a voice. Being able to wear makeup and feel confident gives you some control back,” Provvidenti said of the importance of Stella Bella.
In honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Stella Bella has become involved in the Pink Out, where a high school football team in the Valley wears pink in order to raise money for the cause. Stella Bella will also be giving away custom blending sessions to two cancer survivors.
Free of cancer for two years, Provvidenti is aware that cancer made a huge impact on life. “You don’t ever come out (of treatment) the same person,” said Provvidenti. “You’ve changed forever.”
More Stella Bella photos: