Meet Nudesticks: Beauty with a Conscience

While I can wax poetic about the best beauty products on the market and give you the exact locations of all Sephoras in Manhattan with skilled ease, it’s only been a year since my grand foray into the beauty world. Truth be told, my introduction was a slow one filled with an overwhelming amount of time spent watching YouTube beauty gurus, texting my beauty-obsessed friends, and experimenting with different masks, exfoliators, and BB creams. That being said, if you were to take a peek at my medicine cabinet right now, you’d find four different types of face masks, two cleansers with a third on the way from Australia, three eyelash curlers, and two lip scrubs among a sea of unlabeled bottles and containers. I have come a long way. But, believe it or not, despite my medicine cabinet suggesting otherwise, I put minimal to nearly no effort into my morning beauty routine. When it comes down to it, I’d much rather spend those five extra minutes sleeping than contouring. Even though I admire the girls who wake up early and dedicate hours to getting ready, I’ve never been one of them and probably never will be. So, imagine my surprise when Taylor and Ally Frankel, co-founders of Nudestix, told me they created a company with customers like me in mind.

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At only fifteen and seventeen respectively, Taylor and Ally launched their beauty brand with help from their mom and former MAC Cosmetics engineer, Jenny Frankel. Together, they had a vision to help girls and women get ready as quickly and efficiently as possible with dual-functioning products. In fact, they wanted to help people accentuate their best features with easy-to-apply cosmetic crayons that created a “natural-but-heightened” look. With two years and a multitude of easy-to-use multi-functional products under their belt, it’s fair to say that they’ve successfully achieved their goal.

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The recently released Intense Matte Lip + Cheek Pencils are, without question, true to the Nudestix form. The super creamy formula that comes in eight different shades simply glides on to your lips when applied—perfect for achieving the Instagram-trending matte lip look. After testing out the shade “Kiss,” I can confidently say that it did its job staying put even after two cups of coffee and a croissant. Best of all, my lips aren’t dry or flaky—adjectives I often find synonymous with matte lipsticks.

Below, Taylor shares more about Nudestix’s philosophy and the brand’s latest collaboration with the Love Is Louder movement, proving that beyond being a playful beauty brand, Nudestix is also a brand with a conscience.

What inspired Nudestix? 

My mom noticed that on our social platforms, my sister Ally and I weren’t following any beauty brands. We were following lifestyle brands like Urban Outfitters, Nasty Gal, and other lifestyle retailers. They’d post head-to-toe looks and incorporate beauty in a way that wasn’t necessarily about looking perfect or flawless. It was about real life—looking like yourself but a little bit better. At the same time, we noticed that the beauty industry wasn’t connecting with the way we saw beauty. Most companies talk about the “perfect” look. There was nothing saying: “It’s okay to wear less-is-more make-up—that it’s okay to look like you.” That’s where we saw a white space for Nudestix.

So, who is the Nudestix girl?

Nudestix is all about effortless, fuss-free beauty. Yes, make-up artists use Nudestix, but we’re really for the girl-on-the go—the modern day woman who wants it all, and the girl who would rather sleep in than spend the extra time doing her make-up. These girls are the inspirations behind the company.

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It seems that authenticity is often lacking in the beauty industry. Do you think changes are being made to remediate the situation and fill the gap?

 A lot of brands talk about achieving a "flawless" look. We’re at a time where more-is-more make-up is in (author’s note: think KimK’s 50-step contouring routine). Nobody is talking about the girl who doesn't have time in the morning to spend more than 20 minutes on her makeup or the girl who just wants to smudge and draw and get out the door. For my sister and me, make-up is just a tool to help us feel more comfortable in our own skins—to still look more like ourselves. Before starting Nudestix, there was nothing that we could really relate to. Our company is about being authentic and helping people embrace their uniqueness.

Your article for Seventeen detailing your experience with being bullied is extremely brave. Can you tell us more about that experience? 

My sister and I have both experienced bullying. As a social brand, we tend to get negative comments on Instagram. I think everyone experiences bullying on social media. It’s almost inevitable. Our goal with Nudestix was to create an empowered movement to combat bullying. Beauty, for us, is all about embracing your imperfections. Everyone’s beautiful. Everyone’s unique. You don’t need to wear a mask to feel or look beautiful. We’re really about empowering those who might not feel so great about themselves.

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Did your experiences with bullying inspire the collaboration with Love Is Louder? 

Since launching, we’ve always wanted to create our own philanthropic mission within the brand itself. On a past trip to New York, we came across a pop-up shop for Love is Louder—a suicide prevention initiative co-founded by Brittany Snow. The ultimate goal of the movement is to prevent suicide by spreading awareness about mental illness, abuse, and eating disorders through a safe social community. Love is Louder is focused on building a strong social medial presence because guess who’s always online? Millennials.

At the time, they were exclusive with another beauty company, but when they ended that contract, we approached them again. We began our collaboration in February, and now, $5 from two of our lip pencils—“Kiss” and “Love”—go towards Love is Louder.

Photography by Chris Klemens

This interview has been edited and condensed.

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