When I met Lauren about 5 years ago through my old job, I immediately wanted to be her friend! She’s one of those people who has that Joie de Vivre, living life to the fullest while radiating with positivity and confidence.
A few years ago, Lauren left a very successful career in magazine publishing to launch her own beauty business and hasn’t looked back. We recently chatted with Lauren about being a “beautylicious” entrepreneur…and got a few beauty tips while we were at it. Lauren- we really admire the courage you had to take a huge risk, follow your passion and launch your dream business.
Quarterlettes – take note!
Quarterlette: How did you transition from the magazine world to becoming a beauty expert and make up artist? Did you always have this plan or did you slowly discover your love for the beauty industry and then decide to make a career change?
Lauren: I was Executive Beauty & Fashion Director and then Brand Development Director so this love of beauty and fashion and brand-building was not new. I may as well have been born in heels wearing lipstick. This was all a major part of my publishing career and allowed me to be passionate and, therefore, successful. I started my blog in 2007 and not long after that my makeup work (all done on the side, so basically evenings and weekends) started to pick up and it finally came to a point where between blogging and makeup I felt I could start my company and go out on my own. Some people felt I was giving up a lot — title, salary, opportunity, security — and it was a huge risk.
I felt the risk would be to stay.
Quarterlette: Tell us a little bit about what it’s like to work for yourself. What makes working for yourself most satisfying?
Lauren: Simply having a vision and then getting things done. No red tape, no politics, no gossip, no outdated systems, no fat. There’s also no antiquated notion of respectable office hours or physically even needing office space. I work all the time and everywhere, on my own time and where I like.
Quarterlette: Is there anything you miss about working in the corporate world?
Lauren: I miss developing talent and mentoring. In all the jobs I’ve had, from the Red Cross in high school to Bebe in college to McCann-Erickson, Cosmopolitan and Shape, I’ve been on very strong, very tight-knit teams. I am still very close to so many of my old co-workers. I look forward to growing my business and leading a killer team in the future.
Quarterlette: What has been the biggest challenge when working for yourself?
Lauren: Finding balance.
Quarterlette: As those inevitable challenges come up, how do you motivate yourself to get through those roadblocks?
Lauren: It’s all about keeping your eye on the prize. Not allowing bumps or detours to deter you from it.
Quarterlette: Do you have any one specific most memorable moment since starting your business? Was there a moment where you just had to pinch yourself because your dream had become a reality?
Lauren: I get to work with iconic brands on big projects and partnerships that inspire me. I am living my dream so honestly I pinch myself all the time.
Quarterlette: You once told us that owning your own business requires you to work literally 24/7. We’re now realizing that! How do you balance business and relaxation? Is there such a thing? Do you think it’s crucial to step away from being constantly connected to email, etc. in order to be your best self?
Lauren: Great question. Whether or not it exists, balance continues to elude me. Right now it’s all work, some play and no sleep. Which isn’t a great split considering that beauty sleep is a job requirement for me on some days. I do think being constantly connected has its pros and cons. And for my relationship and for my sanity, I try to unplug here and there. I also make it a priority, not just for image reasons but also for wellbeing, to hit the gym several times a week.
Quarterlette: Let’s talk beauty. We want some skincare tips. We’re constantly hearing from girls in their mid-to-late twenties complaining about their skin. Clearly acne isn’t something that only teenagers experience anymore. What tips do you have for us Quarterlettes to get glowing skin? Any products to avoid? Any products that you find really help to create a beautiful complexion?
Lauren: Skincare is very personal and depending on individual skin type and sensitivities, some products work wonders for some and cause reactions for others. There’s no blanket regimen, but finding one that’s right for you can be a life-changer.
For work I test everything and of the many skin products I personally love, top of mind I can say Clarisonic Skin Cleansing System, Josie Maran 100% Argan Oil, Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair, Embryolisse Lait Crème Concentre, Shiseido Softener, Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Skin Protectant, Clarins Pure Melt Cleansing Gel, Patricia Wexler MD MMPi 20 Skin Regenerating Serum. I also love pore refining and brightening masks from Boscia, Mario Badescu and Origins. And I am religious about applying broad spectrum, high SPF daily. I use La Roche Posay Anthelios SPF 50 Mineral Ultra Light Sunscreen Fluid for face.
A good dermatologist can also help in getting and maintaining great skin and with product recommendations that are customized for your skin. I swear by Diana and Laura Palmisano at Schweiger Dermatology in NY!
Now… in terms of faux glow, there are countless makeup tips and tricks. I could go on forever. But you don’t have to have perfect skin to look flawless.
Quarterlette: Winter always brings the dry lips. Any products that work wonders? It seems like the more lip balm/moisturizer we put on the drier our lips become. Help!
Lauren: I love Victoria’s Secret PRO Smooth FX Lip Scrub and Balm, Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Skin Protectant and also plain old Aquaphor.
Quarterlette: Lastly – do you have a beauty idol? Who grabs your attention? Who always does it right in terms of her beauty routine? And is that woman’s look achievable for the every-day girl?
Lauren: I love a glamour girl so my beauty idols range from Sophia Loren and Bridget Bardot to the 90s supermodels (Naomi, Cindy, Claudia, Helena) to Jennifer Lopez, Kim Kardashian and Beyonce. Who cares if it’s practical? They are total smoke-shows.
(Qlette Note: We love the phrase “total smoke-show”…we’re going to be using that one!).