‘Women want to look like themselves, but better’
Dubai - Canadian mother-daughter duo, Jenny and Taylor Frankel, who have taken their home-grown minimalistic brand Nudestix from zero to a global brand, talk about catering to the modern woman who doesn’t have much time for herself
Taylor Frankel was two-and-a-half years old, and her younger sister Ally was just nine months when their mother Jenny was creating a beauty brand called Cover FX in a factory, and at times, in the basement of their house. Jenny is one of the masterminds behind the success of MAC and Cover FX. After giving her heart and soul to these two beauty brands for more than a decade, she decided to retire and have her ‘Eat, Pray and Love moment’ with her family. “Because while my daughters were growing up, I was busy travelling and working. But instead of retiring, they made me start NudeStix as they were born in the beauty environment,” said Jenny, who was on a visit to Dubai with her daughter Taylor to promote their home brand. This brand was created with a perspective to speak to all generations to go for a nude, natural, no-fuss look.
Taylor was just 17 when the ladies of the Frankel family decided to join forces and fill up the big gap in the beauty market between skin care and makeup. “In 2011, when Instagram launched, I was spending a lot of time with my girls who were in their teens. The girls were spending a lot of time online, and they asked me if I had any makeup product for them. I started watching and listening to them. They inspired me every day. It became obvious to me that there were beautiful skincare brands and artistry brands, but there was nothing for a modern-day girl who wants more than a skincare brand, but less than a makeup brand as they didn’t have time for makeup. They wanted to look natural and wear shades of neutral. They wanted to look like themselves but better.”
From that moment, whenever they went on holidays, Jenny spent a lot of time standing on the walkways observing everyday women and their skin tone. “I stood on the sidewalks of Toronto, London, Los Angeles, Singapore, Shanghai, Sydney, etc and I would look at women, and I would wonder who is wearing so much makeup? Because normal females look like a normal version of themselves with hardly any makeup. Females were also wearing makeup on the tube, on the bus, in the back of an Uber. I learned it is not just girls, but most modern women had everything but time. I thought my girls were onto something. Today’s woman is stressed enough, makeup shouldn’t be stressful,” said Jenny about how the brand was created.
Since launching in 2014, the no-makeup brand has reached the kits of celebrity makeup artists, and beauty lovers across the world. Lately, artists like Kim Kardashian, Kendall Jenner and Chrissy Teigen were spotted on Instagram using this form of minimalistic makeup.
Taylor, 23, told us that more and more celebrities are using neutral tones to enhance their natural beauty. “This is a large movement from a women empowerment perspective because women were always told that they needed to wear the mask of makeup and spend an hour doing hair. But in today’s day and age, women want to look like themselves, but better. Even though our products are for everyday women, but the form is so luxurious that leading makeup artists too use our products all the time.
“This is how we got introduced to celebrities because we don’t know them and we don’t have access to them. We are not friends who can call them up to endorse our brand. But makeup artists across the world are using our product on famous faces,” Taylor said.
No space for argument
The beautiful mother-daughter duo also told us that there is no room for arguments or misunderstandings when they are working together because they don’t step on each others toes. “We are both fairly reasonable people and if we each have valid points then we can see each other’s point of view as we are both passionate about what we do. I respect and understand that my mother has more experience; hence I let her take many business calls. But from a social media point of view, I take more decisions. As much as we work together, we both also have our things going on, and we give our best in our capacity,” said Taylor.
Jenny focussed on Taylor’s incredible social media skills. “Taylor is amazing at connecting with girls over social media whereas I look more at making long-term business decisions or the formulation or the packaging of the products. Together we complete each other. You want to surround yourself with people, who, together, complete each other.”
‘I work hard for everything that I have’
When asked to share the advice that greatly influenced her career, Jenny dedicated all her success to her immigrant parents who taught her to be fair and hardworking. Jenny Frankel, who has more than 20 years of beauty experience, has a Portuguese background, and she was raised by parents who were first generation immigrants in Canada. After studying Chemical Engineering, she quickly landed a position in Research & Development for the creation of innovative beauty products with industry giant, MAC Cosmetics.
“My parents never took anything for granted, and nothing was ever given to me. I don’t know anything other than working hard for anything that I have. I know work ethics. I am appreciative and grateful for everything that I had and worked for.” Jenny is always teaching her young daughters to be fair and right because she believes that no hard work ever goes to waste, even if you are not rewarded immediately, “I tell my girls to be respectful because relationships are everything whether it’s with clients or retailers or friends or family. And patience matters the most. It is important to be correct, honest and right from your side.”
Diversity and inclusiveness matter
The subject of diversity and inclusiveness is a burning one in every area of society, especially the beauty business. For years, makeup, beauty and fitness industries excluded darker skin tones, but now things are slowly changing. How careful are they to make sure that they cater to women of all ages and skin tones? “When we create nude shades, we look at all skin tones - fair, pale and deep. We have everyone from the fairest to the deepest skin tone in our office. Even when we travel, we look at real women across all age groups and skin colour. My mother knows what works with different complexions well. The last four weeks itself, we met so many amazing women as we started our trip in Sydney, then we went to Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, India and now we are in Dubai to launch our new products. Our daily interaction with everyday women constantly helps us create a more diverse range,” explains Taylor.