When Lauren Conrad launched her eponymous makeup brand earlier this month, it came as a bit of a surprise.
“We had initially planned to launch this brand much earlier in the year and, due to COVID, the launch date was a moving target—it kept changing,” the 34-year-old explains. “It was a little difficult for us to nail down a real strategy that was based on a timeline, so we decided to take a different approach. We actually launched a kids’ line earlier this year and we didn’t announce it until right before it came out. It was really well-received, so we decided that we would try it again.”
And “try again” she did. Conrad recently chatted with us about the ethically sourced (and vegan) line of color— which comes complete with fully recyclable lipstick tubes—and even shared some insider info on what’s next for the collection.
Why a beauty line and why now?
I’ve wanted to do a beauty line for quite some time. It really was just a matter of finding the right partner to do it with. I’ve taken many meetings over the last decade and I’m happy that I waited until now. I guess it was just the right time to come up with a line that checked all the boxes we wanted.
Did you have any surprises along the way?
The past two years had been a true education for me. Again, I was really lucky to be working with people who are so good at what they do and they took the time to really talk me through every step of the process. I’m very involved in everything I do—one, because I want to make sure things are done properly so I can feel good about putting my name on it, but also, I just really love the creative process. I love learning new things. This is obviously a new area for me as far as development goes, but it was a really fun process. Again, this year brought some challenges, so we had to get creative. It’s interesting; I know a few people who have launched businesses this year—it makes you take a new approach.
Would you have done anything differently?
That’s a good question! I don’t know that I would do anything differently, but I think there were definitely things that came up that were unexpected—only because I didn’t know what to expect. I’ve obviously worked in development of apparel, accessories, lots of different things, but makeup was a completely different category for me. I didn’t do it the traditional way. I wasn’t able to go walk the factory floor and do a lot of the things in-person that I would’ve been able to do typically [because of COVID]. But I know all of this is all so surprising to everyone.
A big part of the brand is the refillable and recyclable component. Are there any other beauty brands that you looked to for inspiration for that?
As far as recyclable packaging, there was a handful of companies we looked at, but because I was starting from scratch, I had the opportunity to approach it a bit differently. We wanted to make pieces that were easily recycled and pieces that were made from post-consumer plastic, as well as non-plastic. We made that a priority. When we were designing, we were really designing each piece specifically and saying things like, ‘Here’s what we want to do. Here’s the formula, what are our options? Of those options, what is the greatest one and what is the one that consumers are most likely and can more easily recycle?’ It was really a case-by-case basis. For example, it was easy with the cartons. We knew we wanted them to be a very simple tree-free natural ink, so that was not as difficult. But we spent a lot of time on each piece.
Do you think this is a moment in time where people might see how important recycling is?
I can only speak from my own personal experience, but I know that, during this time, single-use plastic has caused me so much anxiety and I, personally, have made a huge shift. In the last few months, I started composting and I no longer use plastic bags; I swapped them all out for reusable ones. I just started making all of these small changes and looking at alternatives, because it is so important. I think that, at the very beginning of the year, everybody was very concerned with health and there were things that were being overlooked—mainly because there was such a focus on keeping things clean and disinfecting. I think that people have gotten over that first wave, at least that’s my hope.
If you could invent any product for the line, what would it be?
I went straight to the realistic side of my brain on that one, which kills all the fun! Honestly, if I could do anything, it would probably have to do with anti-aging because that’s what I spend most of my time doing beauty-wise. The amount of things I apply to my skin every day is getting silly. I’d love to create something in the anti-aging category that is very effective. That’s my selfish request.
Are there any skin-care or anti-aging products you really love right now?
Most of this year, I’ve actually used my own products. I can’t talk about it too much, but we will be expanding the line into skincare, so I’ve been playing with my own formulas. I wanted to be able to use them long-term, to make sure I feel good about everything. I can’t get into super specifics here, but it’s a pretty basic routine; I didn’t want to do anything too complicated.
I do like oils on my skin, I like vitamin C, anything that helps with pigmentation, discoloration. I really like anything brightening. I’ve been doing a lot of masks recently. Some of my favorites right now are Indie Lee, Honest Beauty, Mario Badescu. He does a rose hip mask that I really like. I’ve been doing masks almost every night because it’s my treat at the end of the day. I don’t know it’s actually making a difference, but it’s a nice ritual.
What else do you want consumers to know about the line?
I developed the line because I wanted something that didn’t require a lot of thought, to be honest. I’m pretty simple with my beauty routine and I like to research products. When I find a line that I really like and that I know is ethically sourced, is vegan, has clean formulas, etc., it’s so easy for me because I’ll just buy everything. I really wanted to create something that could take the stress out of the beauty routine, because I know— especially right now—it’s nice to just enjoy your beauty routine.
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