You would think that a celebrity makeup artist– with work featured in Vogue, Vanity Fair, Essence and clients including Zoe Kravits and Lady Gaga– would launch her beauty brand starting with cosmetics, but not Lauren Napier. Lauren is known for her classic, minimalist approach to beauty in a time where contouring and highlighting rule, and she encourages the importance of skin care. There’s no better way to sell a product than to be a walking billboard for your own brand, so I caught up with Lauren to talk about how she cares for the foundation under her foundation.
Tell us about yourself.
Lauren Napier, 35, New York City, entrepreneur and lover of delicious foods
What inspired you to start Cleanse?
I couldn’t find a cleanser that met my lifestyle needs or had the ingredients that I trusted on my own skin – so I created one! I am a proponent of healthy skin, I also believe we are faced with very high beauty standards. I find beauty in informality, “There is beauty in taking it off.”
How has your skin changed over the years?
I am in my 30’s, mid 30’s at that. I have always had normal to dry skin and I have always looked after my skin. I wasn’t the girl who came in after a night out and didn’t remove my makeup. In fact, the first thing I did was remove my makeup (and I lived in Las Vegas, in my 20’s)!
As my skin matures, I cleanse, hydrate and moisturize in the morning and wear sunscreen during the day. At night I cleanse, tone, and moisturize. Skin is your largest organ, it has different needs in different places. I have an arsenal of skin care products to nourish my skin – I think that has contributed to maintaining healthy and youthful skin.
What do you love about your skin & what are your concerns?
I love my complexion! I love how my skin maintains a radiant glow in the summer. I am a brown skinned girl – there is an undeniable pride and self-confidence that one must embrace and honor as a woman of color – I will continue to possess and project that pride.
Walk us through your morning and nighttime regimens with your favorite products.
Let’s be honest, my routine varies depending on time – but I make time!
- Mario Badescu Enzyme Cleansing Gel / Foreo Luna Skincare Brush
- Natura Bisse Mask Souffle
- Leland Frances Face Oil
- Mario Badescu SPF 30
- Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil
- CLEANSE by Lauren Napier to remove excess eye makeup
- Chantecaille Flower Water Toner
- Leland Frances Face Oil + La Prairie Anti Aging Complex
- Coconut oil for my lips
Morning (with no time)
- Mario Badescu Enzyme Cleansing Gel+ Mario Badescu Glycolic Foaming Cleanser
- Leland Frances Face Oil + Mario Badescu SPF 30
Nighttime (when I am exhausted)
- CLEANSE by Lauren Napier luxe makeup remover wipes removes oil, pollution, sunscreen and long wearing makeup from skin’s surface.
- Light exfoliator- leaves skin clean, toned and gently hydrated
I keep an Abundance bag of CLEANSE at my bedside. I also wash or alternated my head scarf and satin pillowcase daily – excess oils can cause unwanted acne
If you had to pick one product, what can you not live without?
Moisturizer without a doubt!
What’s your favorite skin care brand and why?
I really like Mario Badescu; it’s approachable and accessible.
Are there tips you can share that have changed your skin care practices?
Make time for yourself, only purchase what you will actually use, change your sheets, use a hands free to avoid getting bacteria from your phone on your face, and always CLEANSE at night!
How do you avoid a skin crisis?
I believe in beauty from the inside out. I believe diet is a contributor to healthy and unhealthy skin just as it is to a healthy or unhealthy body. I find my skin is best when I am drinking lots of water. When I have a hormonal flair up or a random blemish, I use Origins Red Spot Treatment and Mario Badescu Drying Lotion – it works every time!
How do you shop for skin care products and where?
I like to visit niche retailers. There is always something cool in the small stores because that is where innovative brands get their start and the sales teams are often passionate about the products that really work!
How do you pamper yourself?
I love a good massage. I think tension causes aging. When you’re relaxed, your body and mind are relaxed, you just look and feel better.
Who is your melancrush?
I have so many I love: Solange, Janelle Monae, Nykhor Paul, Demaris Lewis, Tina Turner, Celia Cruz and Mindy Kailing – there are soooooo many!
Who do you attribute your beauty to?
I think it’s genetics. I have beautiful family members who are all different, uniquely beautiful and have been positive and encouraging beauty role models throughout my life.
What would you like to see in the beauty aisle?
What would you like to see on Melanglow?
I want to continue to see beautiful women of color, embracing their beauty and healthy skin, most of all I want to see female owned beauty brands take over the beauty space.
Where can we follow you?
Any products coming soon?
2017 is going to bring some really great additions to the brand. There is continuity in the brand, I am adding the final touches to the next series of products. Get ready because you will want every item in the collection!