We met Lauren Napier, a makeup artist and founder of Lauren Napier Beauty, a makeup remover brand. She is a minimalist, makeup artist, and skincare enthusiast. She desired to have clean skin and a clean makeup remover and could not find it, so she created it. Her work has been seen in Vogue, Vanity Fair, and Essence magazines. During our interview, she showed energy and excitement for making an innovative product.
Lauren, where are you originally from, and how did you start your career?
I was raised in Texas, born in Las Vegas and moved to New York because I wanted to be a makeup artist. I started my career working at M.A.C. Cosmetics and life took me in all different directions. I knew there was more that I wanted to do than be a makeup artist at the mall. I loved it and working with people, but I knew there was something more creative that inspired me. In New York, I was doing editorial work and make up. I had a strong work ethic that kept pushing me. I started working “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.” I met a lot of great people and started working on more TV shows in Manhattan. I started working at “Saturday Night Live,” which was amazing. Everyone was there with the purpose of making you laugh and were very smart.
When did you come up with the idea to make a makeup remover?
When I was traveling for our Christmas break. I was going to Australia, and I just came up with this concept and this idea to make a collection of makeup removers. I needed them, and necessity is the mother of invention.
When I got back from Australia, I just allowed this idea to take over. I have been in the makeup industry forever. I had people who wanted to come to me every day. I wanted people to know that there is beauty in taking it off.
Is your brand socially conscious?
Yes, very socially conscious. All the products are made in the US and packed by the Foundation for the Handicapped. They are adults who are functioning, but need employment. I feel like I am employing multiple work groups, which is special to me. The packaging is recyclable and reusable. The product is gender neutral.
The brand is female-owned and founded. I always try to work with young women who are on the rise. I try to empower women in underserved communities.
How did you promote your brand?
I have worked in TV and film, but I did not utilize any of those contacts. There are celebrities that have used the product, but I was not asking them. The press really promoted it because I did the research and hard work.
What I did do was I would bring in the test packaging to SNL and I would test the product in the environment where it would be used. I was able to test it on the cast and everyone had different skin or needs.
Where did you start developing the wipes?
I had years in the makeup industry, so I knew what products worked and what did not, so I did years of my own work of market research. Google is an incredible resource if you can narrow down your search. I also did a lot of cold-calling. If you are a resilient person and outgoing person, that is a benefit. I was rejected a lot. In high school, I was not the cool kid, but I faced my own levels of rejection, so I took all of that and how I reach out to people. I cold-called, and I wasn’t afraid to reach out.
At some point it is everyone’s first time and if you tell people that, they are more likely to help. You just have to be brave and a little bit daring.
What advice do you give to other women starting companies?
The really important thing is that when you are creating, if you are creating a website or a form, you want to have a really strong point difference. Everyone has an Instagram page, everyone has their social channel, and you are screaming for attention, so your brand message has to be really loud and really strong.
What makes your product different from other makeup wipes?
The ingredient quality. Our main ingredient is water, so whatever you are taking off, it is very high quality with botanical ingredients. The beauty industry really plays on your emotions and your insecurities, but there is beauty in taking your makeup off and not wearing it. All day people are putting it on, but the best part of the day is when you come home and can really be yourself. We are encouraging people to feel good about themselves and we are gender neutral. I am passionate about it, and it comes natural to me. It is really important that people understand that message.
I am a proponent of healthy skin and while a wipe is good for getting off something quick, you should still wash. But these are very clean; you don’t feel like there is a stickiness. Your skin feels clean after. The fabric is a plush cotton.
What does it mean to you to be powerful?
Your power comes from within and from a lot of different experiences. It is not always on the surface. The experiences that are painful, using those experiences gives you power, and if you are just starting out, you just have to keep digging deep and use every experience you have to propel forward.
I find my power in all of my experiences. Everyone has different upbringings. I was totally a nerd. I was the kid that was a little bit different, but that experience of having to march to the beat of my own drum is a super power. And to be able to see something from someone else’s perspective. I wasn’t the cutest kid, but now I work in the beauty industry. You are enough without all of these extra things.
What is next for Lauren Napier Beauty?
I have a new product launch that is coming in 2019 in the spring, and the focus is on another skin condition and another skin care need. It is also something that is empowering. The next one touches on another emotion. It has been something that people have been asking for. We wanted to start with one really great product and then bring more.