Meet the founder of this minimalist girl beauty brand
Made for millennials
How many 20 year olds do you know who have co-founded a successful beauty brand stocked in Sephora? If the answer is none, you'd be with us and slightly dumfounded that such a smart, savvy and motivated individual even exists. Alongside her sister Ally and mother Jenny, Taylor Frankel helped create the cruelty, paraben and preservative-free brand Nudestix. Thanks to a fuss-free approach to beauty, it's no wonder Nudestix's range of multi-purpose lip crayons, highlighter sticks and eye pencils are earning accolades from more than just millennials.
Yeong Sassall caught up with the chatty and passionate beauty mogul while she was in town recently to talk all things Nudestix.
How did you come up with the idea for Nudestix?
Nudestix was co-created by myself, my mum, and my sister. My mum is a chemical engineer with over 20 years of experience. She started formulating products with M.A.C Cosmetics. When my sister and I were in diapers she co-created Cover FX and did that for about 12 or years until she decided to just take a break. She just wanted to connect with my sister and I and had no intention of starting another beauty brand with her two teenage daughters. But during that time, she realised my sister and I viewed beauty very differently than the way she grew up viewing beauty - we really didn't aspire for perfection or to be flawless.
For us, it was about less is more. We wanted to look like ourselves, but better and wanted products that were easy, fast, and effortless. We wanted to sleep an extra 10 minutes in the morning but still look and feel good in our own skin. Even when we were on social media, going back four years ago, we weren't following any beauty brands.
We felt that the beauty industry talked so much about perfection, flawlessness and artistry - you know, more colour and more steps, and although it was beautiful and self-expressive, it just wasn't us. So, whether you're my sister's age, who's Gen Z or you're a millennial like myself or you're a Gen Xer like my mum, we realised that it transcends generations because the modern day woman doesn't have time. We call Nudestix that real life, real girl beauty brand.
I think what helped was obviously my mom having the industry knowledge, but she always says that an executive with over 20 years of experience would never launch this because they don't access or listen to the insights of millennials.
And now everyone's targeting millennials...
Now it's about more of the Gen Z and the digital generation more than what they want because they're the next presidents of the world, but really, she decided to listen to us and really took our feedback and our insights, and together that's how we were able to build Nudestix.
Talk to me about the packaging of the tins. Where did that idea come from?
All our pencils come in a really cute tin, and that was inspired by my sister [Ally Frankel]. She's 18 now, but when we launched Nudestix she was about 14, 15, and she was really, really eco-friendly. So, she said, "Why do we have to keep throwing so much packaging away?" So, we created these tins that were reusable, recyclable, you could fit six pencils inside, and it's your new urban make-up bag.
Back in the day, with my mum's make-up it was filled with clutter and compacts, and we wanted something that was very chic, very modern, that we can just put in our clutch. I love vintage shopping, I love renewal, and so it kind of reminded me of the old tin lunchboxes, the Coca-Cola tins.
I love that everything's quite tactile. Was that something that you guys were passionate about?
Definitely. I remember going out with a group of girlfriends, and we were all doing our make-up. One of my friends was trying to use all these brushes and there were just so many products there. She ended up deciding not to go out because she felt so overwhelmed and not good about how she looked. I was like, 'That shouldn't be the case.'
I felt that compacts and brushes and tools were very overwhelming, especially if you're not an artist. It's a lot to learn, especially if you're trying to get ready in five minutes in the morning, so the fact that we could use our fingers as our tools was like a godsend.
I'm also lazy. If I could minimise my time with make-up to one minute in the morning, please! Anything to give me more sleep or anything to get me out the door faster!
What's your advice for using your product? Just get in there and use your hands?
Exactly. The majority of our products are pretty foolproof and fuss-free. I like to draw lines or hearts in the areas I want colour and then just blend with your finger or dab the product into your skin. I always use my fingers because it warms the product up into the skin, so it looks more natural and gives you a skin-like finish.
Most of our products are multi-tasking too, so for example our eyeshadows, they're your eye primer, eyeshadow, your eyeliner, and highlighter all in one, and really our tips for use is you draw on your lid and then smudge it in. And so you could either tap it onto the lid if you want a little bit more of a pigmented look, or sheer it out by just swiping, so it's like different finger motion: you either tap it, swipe it, or dab it.
It's very millennial, actually, tapping and swiping.
Yeah. Swipe right, swipe left. It's so true. Actually when we started with Nudestix, I felt that we were constantly using technology and everything was very digital, whereas using your fingers, it was almost like back to basics, like back to drawing and smudging and Crayola. But in saying that, sometimes I'll use a beauty blender or a synthetic brush to buff out the products. And our new Nudies actually have a synthetic brush on the other end, now.
I love that you guys are vegan-friendly and cruelty-free as well. Was that something that was really important to you?
It was. We're very conscious about not only what we put in our body but what we put on our face. It's really not that difficult to create a vegan, cruelty-free product. It's really just about going one little extra mile. I think now, with a lot of brands, if you're not cruelty-free clients aren't going to change their lifestyle for a product. It's also very easy to research products.
How involved are you in creating the formulas with your mum?
This big family-like test lab? Yes, it definitely started on our kitchen table. It's our favourite part: working as a family to create products. My sister and I come in and we talk to my mum about what we want out of our products, how do we want them to feel on the skin and what ingredients we want, like Shea butter, vitamin E, coconut oil or jojoba.
And with the shade range: we made sure that they're wearable tones for every day, for all skin complexions and lip colours. That was really important for us. My mom actually calls my sister and I her Chief Inspiration Officers.
Cute. What's your favourite product from the entire collection?
That's, like, the most difficult question! If I had to choose right now, I's say my brow stylus, it's my Holy Grail product. I have very coarse brows, and although I don't have to fill in much, I do like to tame them because they get all over the place. And then my Nudies Glow in the shade Hey, Honey because even if I'm not wearing any make-up or any foundation, it brightens my complexion and gives me this really beautiful glow, kind of like I just came back from a yoga class.
Nudestix Nudies, $42 each, come in five matte and three dewy shades. Shop the Nudestix range at Sephora stores and sephora.com.au
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