When Cover FX founder Jenny Frankel heard from her daughters Ali and Taylor that there weren’t any makeup brands made for their needs, she knew the girls were onto something. “It became very clear to me that they wanted beauty to be less is more,” Frankel tells Thirteen Lune. “I come from a ‘more is more’ beauty lens, but I knew that their vision was actually spot on,” she explains.
Together, the family decided to execute their dream of beauty that took less time and less effort. “They wanted to look like themselves, but better,” she says. “They wanted less color, fast, portable, and easy.” It was from these concepts that their brand, Nudestix, was born.
“Nudestix is a mother-daughter story that I’m so proud to bring to thirteen lune.”
In short, Frankel calls Nudestix “a simple idea, but it's not a small idea.” The brand is all about bringing simple, nude and blush-toned pigments to their users in buildable formulas, portable packaging, and easy-to-use application concepts that are approachable for anyone in the over 30 countries where Nudestix are sold.
“I really do believe that most women are looking for beauty to be fun, accessible, effortless, easy. Women are busy, we have homes, we have families, we have careers, we have side hustles, we're studying. The only thing we don't have is time,” Frankel explains. With Nudestix, Frankel is trying to give people just that: “It can provide the gift of time back to women every single morning.”
"We're about minimalist, multitasking makeup. It's all about easy, effortless beauty."
Now, people all over the world are embracing what Frankel called “the Nudestix lifestyle.” The following is Frankel’s story about being a first-generation Canadian, the inspiration she draws from her family, her vision for Nudestix, her hopes for the future of inclusivity in the beauty industry, and more.
Get to Know – Jenny Frankel
Where are you originally from and where do you live now?
I'm Portuguese, both of my parents are immigrants from Portugal. When they immigrated to Canada, they were in their early twenties. They didn't speak English. They had just my older sister. I was actually born in Toronto, but my older sister was a baby. They struggled like most immigrant families did. I remember growing up, and my father saying to my sister and I “Whatever you do, become professionals, whatever you do, get an education, whatever you do, make sure that you can take care of yourselves and support yourselves.” And that's what we did. My sister ended up becoming a nurse practitioner, and I ended up becoming a chemical engineer. I think that that's a very common mindset for immigrant parents.
When I grew up, I paid my own way through school. I went to the University of Toronto, which is a well known local university. I graduated from chemical engineering, and one of my first jobs right out of university was working for MAC Cosmetics in product development process engineering. That was the start to my beauty career and the beauty industry.
What were some of your first memories of beauty growing up? What are some early beauty influences?
I always loved fashion. I always loved art. I got that from my parents. My mother used to sew clothes as a seamstress on the side when she was a young adult to make some extra money. I got inspired by that. To be honest, it was less about beauty and more about fashion. In the process, she would take me to the fabric stores. We would look at beautiful fashion patterns and fashion magazines and fabrics and textures. I was also very strong in art. My father was a great artist and he used to paint and draw. I think I got that from him. When you kind of combine art and fashion and engineering, voila, you have the start of being a cosmetic beauty entrepreneur.
Do you have a beauty philosophy? What is it?
We believe in sustainability. All of our packaging is recyclable. We either use reusable, final packaging, or biodegradable final packaging. All of our ingredients have a harmonized, clean ingredient list that we strictly audit against to make sure that our formulas are clean, they're sulfate free, they're vegan, they're gluten free, free of all the toxins that you wouldn't want in your products. We also are cruelty free. All of our shades are shades of nude for our global community, because we are available in over 30 countries. So nude means different things depending on our community.
What does self-care look like in your life?
I have so little time. I have a beauty business. I have daughters. I have dogs. I have a husband. I have a home. I travel for business. I don't have much time. For me, self care looks like waking up a little early so I can try to jump on my treadmill in the morning. In the evenings, I try to do a self-care regimen. I have a very simple skincare routine. It's actually our Nudestix routine. But I believe if you cleanse, exfoliate, tone, and moisturize, your skin's in a really good place. On the weekends, it's my hair masking and face masking. I will actually spend a couple of hours in my robe. I'll make sure I mask both my hair on my face and really have that moment for myself. If I can spend a little bit of time watching a show that I love or reading a book or a magazine, that just adds a little bit of extra indulgent meantime.
What inspires you the most about the beauty landscape in the industry today?
What inspires me the most honestly, I still love the good old fashioned runway shows. I love looking at designer houses. I love watching what the runway trends are. For me, it starts with the fashion houses and the way they do the hair and the makeup. I still have an affinity for all things European, maybe because my parents were Portuguese. As a kid, I used to spend my summers in Europe with my grandparents. I just have this love for things that are European. So I still love the good old European fashion houses: the Chanel's, the Dior's, all those beautiful designers. I love seeing how they wear hair and makeup. That really inspires me. I love fabric, and I love textures and the way the compositions come together, and then making that accessible in real life. I love seeing what the fashion houses are doing that seems so extra, and then innovating ways that the everyday woman can get that indulgent moment and experience in a really quick, effortless, easy way. That's my inspiration still to this day.
What has been the biggest challenge in starting your business?
I don't even look at things as challenges to be honest. I think as an entrepreneur, meaning you're so passionate and you're so driven, and you're open to risks that challenge you. If plan A doesn't work, I always have a plan B, a plan C, a plan D. The biggest challenge in starting my business was getting others to buy into your vision. When you start a business, you have to be very clear, especially when you're building a brand, clear on what your vision is, what your story is, and what your products are for the community you're targeting. As long as your story is authentic, your products are innovative, and you're able to tell that story to your stakeholders, I think you're in a really good place to overcome challenges.
What has been your biggest win thus far?
I'm feeling that our biggest win is that we've developed a community that has embraced the Nudestix lifestyle. We’ve been able to impact a lot of people's lives because they were waiting and looking for a brand like Nudestix. When I hear from my community that “I love Nudestix. It's so easy. It's so effortless. The products look great on me. I look like myself, but better. I feel like a better version. I can get out the door in five minutes.” That's our biggest win.
What would you like to see more of in the beauty industry when it comes to diversity and inclusivity?
I would love to see more of what is currently happening, I would love to see that inclusivity isn't even a second thought anymore, it’s just mainstream. In everything that we do, whether it's building our internal teams, developing products, shade extensions, developing content campaigns, we’re addressing our community and humanity. That looks so different depending on where we are in the world. Nudestix is a global brand. We sell in over 30 different countries, our community is global. I think we're off to an amazing start, because the awareness is there. Everyone's talking about making sure that inclusivity is top of mind. I really believe that this is a moment in time where we are going to see amazing things happen in the future.