By Rhiana Chickering
Image Credit: BeauteNouveau.com
Advertisements of major-brand cosmetics and skincare products emerge while a people walk into a department store. In the promotional campaigns, models look thin and flawless with a seemingly-life-changing product placed right next to them.
A new movement has led women to pass by department store beauty counters and turn towards natural, hand-made beauty products. Knowing exactly what ingredients beauty products contain and that the products are gentle and chemical free is becoming progressively more important.
I came across Beaute Nouveau, French for “New Beauty,” and I was immediately intrigued, so I traveled to Mission Hills in San Diego where I had the pleasure of meeting with its founder and professional make-up artist, Lacey Haegen.
Everything within her business from ingredients to labels to her positive messaging ties together flawlessly, and her studio is as classy and beautiful as one would expect it to be. We walk into a New-York-City-style studio apartment with elegant white walls and shelves where finished products are neatly organized.
The packages of the finished products are not like ordinary packaging seen on other organic skincare products. Beaute Nouveau’s packaging is quite feminine and beautiful with a water-color botanical drawing, which was actually designed by one of Lacey’s make-up artistry clients. Beaute Noveau’s skincare is definitely something women not only want to use, but want to keep out on their vanities or shelves as décor.
Not only is this her office, but it is where Lacey makes all of her products in the tiny kitchen where bottles of ingredients sit on shelves and where she pours the product into the containers on a counter, packages the products on a table that currently has labels and product containers underneath it, and ships the skincare items to her customers.
We sit down at her desk where she has a name plate that reads, “Boss Lady,” a perfect description of someone who has developed such a pristine product on her own through sleepless determination.
Beaute Nouveau began accidentally. Lacey says, “I never had any intentions of starting my own business. Both my parents were entrepreneurs, so I always thought I would start a business, but I didn’t have a plan or an idea.”
When Lacey got married, her husband had health issues and psoriasis all over his body.
“He was just miserable,” Lacey says, “We had tried everything! I spent hundreds of dollars on anything on the internet… Nothing worked.”
During this time, Lacey became more interested in the ingredients that are used in skincare products.
“I started looking at the ingredients in theses jars that I am smearing all over him,” Lacey explains. “I started realizing [that] these [products] are terrible!” So Lacey set out to make a simple product that would help calm his psoriasis. The final product, “Sugar Balm,” was the first product Lacey ever made.
When Lacey created her Sugar Balm, she would make large batches, and she would place the product in smaller jars to give to friends and family, who told her that she should sell the product. As a result, Beaute Nouveau started organically.
After she began selling Beaute Nouveau’s Sugar Balm, people began asking her what other products she made in hopes of purchasing those. So, Lacey began developing and selling new products while participating in several events to promote her business.
One time, when she noticed her mother slathering her Sugar Balm all over her face, Lacey immediately thought, “Oh my gosh that is going to [make her break out]. It is so rich with all these butters,” but her mom did not break out. Instead, the balm was helping her mother immensely by relieving her dry skin.
This is when Lacey realized that the ingredients in her skincare product were “healthier” than other skincare products because it is not plastic based, meaning her product is not prone to pore clogging.
“So, even though these crèmes and these butters are super rich and thick and heavy, they don’t clog your pores at all,” Lacey stresses. “Whereas a light-weight oil-free lotion does because it is filled with Palamers, Silicone, Methicone, [which are] basically plastic based ingredients that just sit in your pores.”
As a result, Lacey thought all these messages of what women told her throughout her years of make-up artistry, and she created Beaute Nouveau’s Butter Balm. Lacey hands me a jar her Butter Balm, which she lovingly calls “lotion for lazy people.” Butter Balm is an in-shower body crème to enable those who do not have time to rub on lotion to relieve their dry skin.
“I wanted something that they could put on in the shower that would eliminate the need for lotion,” Lacey says, “and it works because [women] resonate with that message, and they like it, which is shocking to me every time!”
Lacey believes that women should spend more time doing what they love and accomplishing great things, instead of completing activities they hate, such as putting on lotion.
“I mean we have a million things to do,” Lacey says, “One of the most unattractive things… people can do is spend hours or too much time critiquing themselves in a mirror…Do something fun and productive that makes you feel happy. Being right here picking yourself apart in a mirror is never going to make anybody happy – ever! It’s just this foundation of self-loathing.”
Some women continue to purchase beauty products in an effort to find the product that makes them happy, only to place it in a drawer full of products and samples.
In fact, these drawers full of products and samples are what inspired Lacey to create such beautiful packaging.
“I don’t want women spending thousands of dollars’ worth of products [that end up] just sitting in a drawer,” she assures. “I want beautiful packaging, beautiful products that everyone loves to look at on their vanities, and in their showers, and love to use rather than stuffing it away. It’s part of my want for my packaging.”
Lacey is always innovating and thinking of ways to scale up her business. Her inspiration often arises when she is actually developing her products because she is absorbed in the process, and that is when inspiration flows and comes together.
“I feel like when you start letting your artistic mind go, then it just kind of all flows,” says Lacey, “I think the more you practice doing all kinds of weird things, creative things [and getting] involved with things outside of your comfort zone…then [the creativity] just keeps going.
Even though Lacey continues to innovate new products, she worries about how she will successfully scale up Beaute Nouveau even greater.
“I’ve been a one women show for a long time; it’s the part I have gotten to love most. It’s like meditation in a way; I’m in here and I’m making things, and happy,” Lacey explains. It’s like I basically go to an art class everyday which is so cool. I think that [scaling it up] is the biggest anxiety.”
Lacey also stresses the difficulties of starting Beaute Nouveau when few people believed in her new products, questioning why they are better than current products and why they should use her products. Now, with social media, Lacey continues to receive comments regarding how she “really manifested.”
In turn, Lacey says, “I have not manifested! I have worked seven days a week for 11 years. 2 jobs, make up artistry and every day, all day.”
After several years of entrepreneurial experience, Lacey has five of the best pieces of advice for her fellow “Boss Ladies.”
1. Protect your reputation.
2. Follow your gut.
3. Don’t look to other people for validation. In other words, Lacey says, “Nobody understands what you see in your imagination, and you can’t explain it until they can visually see it. Share your ideas, but don’t need validation.”
4. Lacey recommends, “Build a solid, female foundation of women who [have similar interests as you]. Reach out to networking groups, and go to events. Meet people, don’t become best friends, but stay professional supporters. Having that community is very very important. Work with people who are on the same vibration as you. If you find somebody negative, it’s not going to help you. If you find a group of super-positive women who are like ‘yeah we’re going to this amazing thing… Here is an idea I have for you!’ you are going to get a lot farther.”
5. “Believe in yourself,” says Lacey, “Even on days when you are not feeling it, just have mantras. Frame [mantras] put them on your walls. I have one – “Every product I will ever make is already sold.” – it is a huge driver for me. When I’m freaking out over scaling up [my mantra is], “The important things are meant to be done slowly.] Just [have] your own messaging [that just grounds you] … [When owning a business], you have to flex with the market and what the market is doing. You are going to grow and develop. Things are going to change. So develop your own personal messaging of positivity, community and be patient with yourself. Take care of yourself, and during those times when you can’t, don’t beat yourself up about it.”
Beaute Nouveau’s positive messaging of enabling women to spend more time on activities that make them happy and quit doing activities that they absolutely hate is what makes Lacey and Beaute Nouveau so relatable to countless women.