If you're even half as nail obsessed as we are, you're going to LOVE this week's feature. We've been fan-girling over Lauren B. Beauty's polishes for a while, so we were absolutely delighted to learn that the actual Lauren B., as in the #girlboss behind the brand, is just as lovely. Read on for our one-on-one with the mani maven that *nails* the polish game like no other - think long-lasting, the dreamiest colors, glorious shine, and of course free of harmful toxins, vegan-friendly, and cruelty free. We cover everything from how she got her start, to her top five shades, to the brand's incredible partnerships, and beyond!
What is your earliest memory involving nail polish?
As a little girl, I often set up a nail salon in my garage, where I performed manicures for my grandmother, and any other family member willing to play along. I would set up my station at an old ironing board, with a posterboard sign offering manicures for $5. I begged my parents for new nail polish shades every time I would read about something new in a magazine or see a new trend I loved. I organized all my nail polish together in color groups. By the age of 15, I was yearning for the hottest colors and obsessing over the newest nail trends. I remember riding my bike to the local convenience stores all summer to stock up on new shades that I purchased with my babysitting money…while everyone else was at the beach.We've read that your nail polish obsession began early on, but there were some detours before launching the brand - how did you find your way back to nail polish and what compelled you to start your own line?
After graduating college and a year into pursuing my career in medicine, I realized there was something missing. I moved from the east coast and landed in CA and began working for a luxury hair care brand. Through this experience I learned the ins and outs of the industry. I seized this opportunity, and as I moved into the high-end beauty world, my knowledge for luxury brands, and interest in nail care evolved. I was traveling a lot and always on the go. I got tired of getting a manicure, and not having it last. I was disgusted with the alternative which was a gel or acrylic manicure process and the damaging effects of this process, along with the salon environment. I thought that there had to be a better way for women like me to have nail polish last-without having to compromise our health. As I began to explore the safer options, the first thing I realized was that there was no perfect brand: some lines had great colors, but they didn’t last long enough. Others stayed put but contained harsh ingredients or gradually lost their shine. None of them offered the right balance of luxury and ease. That’s when the light bulb went off: I can make what’s missing.Why was it so important to you that the brand be clean and vegan-friendly?
I believe that we should NEVER have to compromise our health for feeling beautiful. Nail polish is a simple accessory that makes us feel empowered and put together. Traditional nail polishes are loaded with chemicals and these chemicals get right into your bloodstream. Our products are proudly made in the U.S.A. and never tested on animals. Everything we create is vegan-friendly and free of harsh chemicals like formaldehyde, DBP, toluene, formaldehyde resin, and camphor. It is important to me to continue to make quality products, sourcing responsible ingredients, and using sustainable packaging.What are some of the challenges associated with these choices?
The costs involved with innovation, packaging, sourcing better ingredients, etc. are a constant struggle.
Then there's the competition - there are many larger brands that dominate the space and look to smaller brands for innovation to copy. The market is saturated with normal toxic polishes, and lots of marketing money behind large brands, so we constantly have to compete on being more clever, thoughtful, and purposeful.
Education on what healthier nail care is, and how we are doing things differently and shaking up the nail care space.
Doing the right thing and standing behind my brand are important to me; we do not cut corners, but this does create more of a strain on our operations, costs, etc.What has been the most exciting/rewarding aspect of this journey so far?
Seeing my company come to life, and growing each day is super exciting, it comes with challenges too, but seeing our products on the shelf, reading about them in magazines, or hearing from customers who are passionate about what we have created, makes it all seem worthwhile.
Where do you find inspiration for colors and/or names and how do you find ways to channel some of the magic that got you so interested in nail polish as a little girl?
Each polish has a story to be told through its color. The core of my polishes are all inspired by the beauty of LA, the place I now call home. There is so much beauty to capture here, each polish reminds me of a place, memory, or something unique to LA.
What is your best nail/nail polish advice that we can ALL benefit from? Are there any "rules" we should all follow and/or faux pas to avoid?
To optimize nail health - use good quality products that are free of harsh chemicals like mine which are 7 free. Pay attention to your nails and hands, and moisturize often - this will help maintain the overall health of your nails, hands, and cuticles. We know it's like choosing a favorite child, but we HAVE to ask... what are your top five favorite polishes you’ve ever made?
This is tough, and fluctuates, but currently my answer would be...
Laurel Canyon Lover
City of Angels
Vintage on Vine
south of the blvd.
From partnering with Dunkin' Donuts in support of National Childhood Cancer Awareness month, to teaming up with Edie Parker for an exclusive line of colors, you have some awesome collaborations going on - how did these come together and how do you go about deciding whether or not something is the right fit?
Everything we have done has been super organic. Opportunities are presented to us daily, but the ones we are most passionate about and the ones that are on brand are the ones that we run with. I love to work with other female founders, and support those who have supported me on my journey. A lot of our collaborations have happened super organically through real life connections or relationships that we have. We evaluate and read every email and inquiry and talk about it as a team to see if it's a good fit. If anyone has ideas, please reach out, we love thinking outside the box and doing things differently.
Shameless plug time - what's next for Lauren B? Anything juicy you can tease?
New polish colors will constantly be launched, and we also have a huge focus on building out our hand care line, so you will certainly see more care/treatment products from us in the near future.LAURENBBEAUTY.COM | @LAURENBBEAUTY