By Willa Frierson
Coming of age as a Gen Z kid in an all-girl’s school environment, I sometimes take the intensity with which I live and breathe Girl Power, for granted. These days, the figure of the “girlboss” rises to relevance through memes, infiltrating conceptions of feminism, but sometimes I need a reminder of the truth within the trope: the mind bending, earth shaping power that the ambitious women around me wield.
I always tell my clients you can’t skip the skin prep, it's the most important step if you want to have flawless lasting makeup on all day!
RaeDawn, founder of Balaeyon, embodies that reminder. Herself an accomplished makeup artist, RaeDawn tells thirteen lune, that in her experience, “Without prepped and primed skin, skin won't win”. In seeking a manageable solution for the dynamic and driven women that surround her, RaeDawn’s new make-up brand, Balaeyon, prioritizes ease within beauty routines, giving the simultaneous gift of simple and sexy skincare. Sourcing beauty methods and ingredients from around the globe, RaeDawn seeks natural solutions for women with somewhere to be. This synthesis of beauty and passion runs in her veins – RaeDawn’s mother pursues cosmetology alongside her and Balaeyon blesses the go-getter in us all.
GET TO KNOW BALAEYON FOUNDER RAEDAWN
What was the impetus to start your brand?
As a makeup artist, who has had various women sit in my makeup chair, it became a goal of mine to create something that would make beauty routines for women a little easier. I was always thinking about what I could possibly invent that would be the thing that would allow women to still feel beautiful and ready to take on the day without having to skip out on steps for the routine to be complete.
Do you have a beauty philosophy? What is it?
Without prepped and primed skin, skin won't win. Skin is the foundation for a flawless finish to makeup application. I always tell my clients you can’t skip the skin prep, it's the most important step if you want to have flawless lasting makeup on all day!
What were some of your first memories of beauty growing up?
For so many people it is seeing their mother in makeup. And for me my mother was the first memory of seeing how the world of beauty can create opportunities and allow one to be expressive in their artistry. My mother sold Mary Kay for many years, and I always dug into her samples and would take them to school and apply lipstick there then remove it before coming home because I knew I’d get in trouble for having the makeup on as I was not allowed to wear makeup. And throughout high school I was the go-to girl who did everyone’s hair and makeup for pep rallies and things.
What are some early beauty influences? (family/relatives, culture, era, location).
My mother went to cosmetology school. She always came home with the latest and greatest hot tools. She would force us to figure out how to use the tools on our own hair. This allowed my love of all things creative in the beauty world to blossom.
What does self-care look like in your life?
Self-care looks like various things in my life. Number 1 is mental peace; I obtain that by traveling. By removing myself from my everyday grind I force myself to slow down and be present.
What inspires you most about the beauty landscape and industry today?
What inspires me is being around women every day, as a makeup artist and founder. I’m able to discover what women need and want from our industry.
What has been the biggest challenge in starting your business?
There are so many challenges when you’re a solo founder with a tight budget. I would say getting any type of financing. I would like to bring on freelancers and others to help me with various tasks and projects, but money is needed in order to compensate people for their work.
What has been the biggest win thus far?
Balaeyon’s biggest win is the Allure Store reaching out to us. To be on Allure’s radar in any capacity is always a brand’s dream.
What would you like to see more of in the beauty industry when it comes to diversity and inclusivity?
As a founder I’d like to see BIPOC brands be the norm. That the products we use be introduced to all women and it not be only for WOC but for all.