Spotlight: Anna Lise Jensen, The Complexion Concierge, on a New Sense of Real Beauty

As always, we here at Salted Scarletry love to Spotlight smart, savvy, sassy and successful women who are “doin’ tha damned thing” in and around all aspects of our community. This week is no exception! The lovely lady below brings you real beauty through conversation, consultation and constant honesty. From star-of-stage to Complexion Concierge, the shine is all hers…to bring to you!


SPOTLIGHT: Anna Lise Jensen

So, what do you do for a living?

I am both a professional stage actress and The Complexion Concierge, a business I founded to offer skin care consulting services.

When did you start your business/project?

I started officially on March 1, 2014 when I left my full time job (an ill-advised detour from being a performer, what was I thinking?! I did it for a year and a half and was miserable. Money can’t buy happiness, people. But it can buy handbags…) There were two major steps in launching the business. The first was when my oldest sister, Kirsten, who called me because her daughter, Amelia, then 14, was in the middle of her kitchen screaming, “I hate my face!” (I’d suffered from awful skin form about age 11-23 and was on every drug that was available, except Accutane). Anyway, I remember how traumatic it was to have “bad skin” as a kid, and I spent about an hour on the phone with my sister talking through what Amelia should be doing and not doing and what they should look to buy. They made a purchase online that night for products that arrived within two days. Kirsten commented later, “You know I would have paid you for that, the peace of mind of knowing that I was doing something. If we’d called a dermatologist it would have taken us six weeks to get an appointment!” There’s a mental stress when you feel your face is betraying how you feel inside. It’s my mission to help everyone feel more beautiful and comfortable.

The second event was when I reached out to another fellow actress, we’ll call her Clementine, who was in a class with me. She was suffering from some really awful cystic acne and being a woman of color was also having some pigmentation issues going along with it. I reached out to her and asked her to be my guinnea pig, to step into place as my first pro-bono client and let me try to help her get her skin on track.

I can report now that she was an amazing success story.

We love your quote: “I don’t sell products. I solve problems.” How did you come about this angle of thought?

I worked for over 10 years in the beauty industry selling all different kinds of products and training employees to sell product, and no matter how ethical or nice or trustworthy a sales person is, at the end of the day, my job is on the line if I don’t sell (or my employees or stores don’t sell) enough product. It’s a model that clearly isn’t working for female customers. You don’t walk into a grocery store and ask the guy stocking the shelf “I’m unhappy with my body, what should I eat?” Or even worse, “I’m unhappy with my body, what type of chips should I buy?” I found that women were asking all the wrong questions and were completely powerless and, at the worst, felt hopeless and ugly. So I wanted to take the product selling out of the equation. I have nothing to gain from what product my clients buy. They pay me to be a coach, a guide, a listener and a problem solver. I won’t judge you if you want to talk about Botox or if you tell me ,”listen, lady, I can barely get a shower in each morning!” I have nothing to gain from what products you choose to use. All I want to do is make you feel, literally, more comfortable in your own skin. Put your best face forward. I can go on and on with the puns!

What’s your biggest challenge working for yourself? What’s your greatest reward?

Is it a total cop out to say time management? Setting realistic goals? Your business is only as successful as the time and energy you put into it, but that doesn’t mean it necessarily needs all your time and energy. I need some too! And so does my acting career, my home, my relationships, the cat litter boxes…It’s hard to walk away and say “no, I’m done for the day” when the world is my oyster.

I was so fortunate to be featured on a great blog, KathEats, and the outpouring of clients was overwhelming! It crashed my online scheduling calendar, it crashed my social life for a good week and I also realized in retrospect the infrastructure I needed to have in place to handle as big as the company can be. Everything is 20/20 in hindsight!

The second hardest thing I think is dealing with the highs and the lows. Trying to not get too excited when I have a fantastic week because the next week I might not have any new clients!

What does work/life balance mean to you? How do you make it happen?

I find that often people talk about achieve balance and I try to think in terms of actively balancing things. I’m a big fan of both Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and David Allen’s Getting Things Done. In alignment to 7 habits, in every day I hope to nurture areas of my life as an artist, business owner, partner, family member and friend. So I try to make sure I make time for all those things. I also trust my GTD system to help me remember things, like birthdays and events and plan for things in the fall. For me it’s trusting that I will never find balance (like it’s a place to be in), but rather will hope that at any given moment in time I am doing my best to balance.

I try to never beat myself up for what isn’t happening, and I also try to never think in terms of what “needs to” or is “supposed to” get done, rather just think “it would be nice if I picked up dry cleaning.” Because, in reality, if I get it tomorrow or the next day, no one will die waiting.

If you could dispel one major myth about “beauty” and its industrial game, what would it be?

Oh golly… just one?! Um, that ANY of the pictures of any person you see are real! It’s laughable to me what people want to look like because in reality no one looks like that. And if they get close it’s because they have a team of makeup artists, stylists and great lighting. I think most women have no idea what a face, in real life, actually looks like.

If you could schedule a chatty consultation and cocktail with any one woman, who would you have?

Wow! Is she hiring me or do I get to hire her?? I would love it if Oprah endorsed me by hiring me as her skincare consultant, but that’s just selfish for the business. Personally I think I would love to sit down with some of the new “it girls” of Hollywood, Lena Dunham or Jennifer Lawrence, for example, and try to see how they think they can continue to use their power and personalities to get the message out that Hollywood and the beauty industry is holding women to a ridiculous standard.

Side bar: I’ve always thought that if she got a chance to hang out with me, Jennifer Garner and I would be besties. My cats are actually named Agent Bristow and Mr. Sloane because I loved “Alias” so much. So if Jennifer is listening–call me!

Ok, most importantly… Sunscreen or big-brimmed hat? :)

BOTH! Your sunscreen is absolutely imperative for every-day wear. 90% of what we consider signs of “age” in the skin comes from the sun. But, if you plan on being outside for an extended period of time, hats are great! I also love a good touch up powder with SPF, like these:

Peter Thomas Roth Oily Problem Skin Instant Mineral Powder SPF 30, $30

Mineral Fusion Brush On Sun Defense SPF 30, $25

Physicials Formula Mineral Wear Talc-Free Airbrushing Pressed Powder Mineral SPF 30, $14

Shiseido Pureness Matifying Compact Oil-Free SPF 16, $21

While you will never apply enough powder for it to use as your sole and only sunscreen, why not have it in your purse or bag just in case your lunch date turns into an after extravaganza?


Anna Lise Jensen is a professional actress and the founder of The Complexion Concierge, the world’s first and only personalized skincare consulting business. It is her goal to help every client feel comfortable in her own skin, and to defeat the myths of the beauty industry, one ludicrous claim at a time! She is a domestic goddess in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn and loves Brooklyn Nets basketball, collaborating with Creative Geniuses, cats, and long distance running (which she originally took up to increase the nights per week she can eat cheeseburgers and drink craft beers). Anna Lise tries every day to spread light into dark places. Even into your pores.



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