Nudestix's Taylor & Ally Frankel On Building a Modern Beauty Brand
In a generation where tagging your bestie on Instagram is a standard method of communication, overly complex beauty routines and brands that promote them are just blah—in other words, wilting. That’s why we busy babes can't get enough of Nudestix, the majorly chic yet functional makeup line co-founded by sisters Taylor and Ally Frankel, with the help of their mom Jenny, a chemical engineer veteran (you might've seen Taylor in our five-minute nighttime look tutorial). The get easy, natural-looking beauty on-the-go philosophy formed the core of the brand, which just went international in Sephora stores. For insight on how Taylor and Ally juggle the booming family business between school and life, their idea of a beauty hack every girl should know, and advice to aspiring entrepreneurs, read on for our interview with the girl bosses ahead of our Volume Spray launch.
Taylor and Ally, how old were you when you both decided to go into business with your mom? What catapulted this decision?
Taylor: I was 17 and Ally was 14 years old when Nudestix was born. Our mom, Jenny, is a chemical engineer with over 20 years of beauty experience. She comes from the generation of “more is more” a.k.a “Sex and the City” beauty. After retiring from her previous life — her goal was to take an eat, pray, love moment. During this period, our mom realized that there were very little options for the everyday woman or girl on-the-go — the girl who does not have hours to spend on her makeup nor does she have the artistry skills. Ally and I were still going into our mom’s makeup bag at the time because we couldn’t find anything in the beauty industry that we were able to relate to. We were looking for makeup that was easy, fast and effortless that fit into our lifestyle. Thus, we created Nudestix out of a necessity for natural looking, easy-to-use makeup for the real girl on-the-go. We identified a niche in the beauty industry for a makeup brand that was relatable to the modern day woman.
Working with family members seems like it would have its ups and downs. What has been the best thing about working with family and what has been the most challenging?
Taylor: The best part about working with my mom and sister is travelling around the world together. We’ve been fortunate enough to travel internationally, from South East Asia, the UK, Mexico, Australia and more. I am lucky to have had them by my side throughout our initial launches. Travelling can be very exhausting, especially if you’re not familiar with the culture – so having my family with me is a really nice comfort. Also, Nudestix has given us a common platform where we can all express our creativity and collaborate as a team. All of us have such different strengths, and so we complete each other. The most challenging part is probably knowing when to take a “break”. We’re somewhat obsessed with our job (which is awesome) but we’re still working on when to “shut off” and have quality family time when we’re not working.
Ally: The best thing about working with my family is being able to spend so much extra time with them and travel all over the world together. It’s definitely been a new common ground for all of us to relate to and has strengthened our relationship. The most challenging part is probably trying not to bring our work home. Nudestix becomes more of a 24/7 than 9 to 5 job, which can be a little exhausting at times, but we love it.
Taylor, you're attending university and Ally, you're pursuing dermatology. How do you juggle school, work and your personal life?
Taylor: I am currently on a sabbatical from university. In early 2017, I decided to work full-time for Nudestix in order to focus on our International brand growth. I am super happy with my decision, because instead of my focus being split, I have been able to focus 100% on Nudestix – my passion.
Ally: Since starting university abroad, school has been my top priority. Of course, I am still involved as much as I can be when I’m home and through social media. Being so busy, between school and work, I definitely try to put some time aside for some “me” time or to hang out with friends.
What’s one piece of advice you would give to other young entrepreneurial girls looking to start their own business?
Taylor: My best advice would be to have both a rational and emotive reason to exist. When launching a brand, it is so important to have a strong ‘raison d’être’, that will help guide throughout your brands growth and journey.
Ally: Don’t go at it alone – it’s important to have a team you can depend on. Everyone has their own unique strengths, so it’s important to recognize your strengths and weaknesses to surround yourself with those who can help you.
Nudestix has taken you around the world for business; what has been your favorite place to visit and how do different markets respond to your product?
Taylor: My favorite place has to be South East Asia. When we first launched Sephora there in 2016, I was pleasantly surprised by how much Nudestix resonates with the SEA woman. She’s the ultimate “no makeup-makeup” and fuss-free girl. Also, due to the extremely humid weather all year long, they tend to love and gravitate towards “less is more” makeup. This must have been my biggest “aha” moment because I recognized that the Nudestix girl/guy is global – from Asia, Australia, North America and Europe, there is a client that craves easy, fast and effortless beauty. Similar to OUAI, if you think about the modern day women, she’s busy and is looking for products that fit into her crazy lifestyle.
Ally: My favorite place to visit is probably California. I am definitely a California girl at heart, I love the warm weather. It’s really interesting to see how different markets respond to Nudestix – and how different women/men around the world are able to relate and connect to the brand that fits into their lifestyle.
What's your favorite Nudestix product?
Taylor: Those who know me know that I am obsessed with no-makeup makeup and/or lazy girl beauty. My ride-or-die Nudestix product has to be our NUDIES All-Over Face Colors. They are so versatile and easy-to-use.
Ally: My favorite Nudestix product is our Concealer Pencil. I am a sucker for complexion products – part of the reason for my venture into dermatology. On most days, when I am running to class or heading to the airport, I am usually only wearing our concealer and a little bit of Nudestix Mascara. P.S. I created a custom Gel Color Lip + Cheek Balm shade, “ALLY” that you can find at QVC.
What's one beauty hack that everyone should know?
Taylor: My favorite beauty hack is using your fingers to blend your makeup. Not only does it save you time in the morning, but if you’re not a makeup artist (like myself) your fingers are so easy to use. However, using your fingers is a makeup artist pro tip because the warmth in your fingers blends the product seamlessly into the skin, and creates beautiful, natural looking makeup. Plus, they save you money ;)
Ally: My go-to beauty hack is “less is more”. I’m all about natural, effortless looking makeup – I think that every girl should be told they’re beautiful, rather than “your makeup looks great”.
What's one beauty product you both can’t live without?
Taylor: I definitely cannot live without my Embryolisse Face Moisturizer. I travel a ton for work, so my skin gets very dry on-the-go. I need a moisturizer that I can depend on!
Ally: I cannot live without my Kate Sommerville EradiKate Acne Treatment. I have acne prone skin, and this product is my quick buh-bye acne quick fix that I am addicted to!
Favorite hair trend at the moment?
Taylor: I love effortless looking beauty – so naturally I am obsessed with loose, beachy waves.
Ally: As a student and busy girl, I am obsessed the dry shampoo trend A.K.A socially acceptable to have semi-dirty-hair-when-studying-for-48-hours-straight.
Worst hair faux pas?
Taylor: In my opinion, the biggest hair faux pas has to be super streaky highlights.
Ally: Probably that time period where your roots grow out and your natural, sometimes much darker hair, appears above your “natural” bleach blonde. That’s definitely a rough period for any girl or boy.
Where do you both see yourself in 10 years?
Taylor: In 10 years, I imagine myself still working with Nudestix in some capacity, maybe with a few venture projects on the side!
Ally: In 10 years hopefully I will be finishing up or done with my residency, ready to open a dermatology practice, also still involved with Nudestix, maybe even helping with a potential Nudestix skincare line.
What's one thing that we don’t know about both of you?
Taylor: Even though my role at Nudestix involves being super social, I am actually very introverted, and when I’m not working I prefer to be at home, watching Netflix and hanging out with my family.
Ally: Taylor and I have matching ankle tattoos. I have a “t” for Taylor and she has an “a” for Ally. We spontaneously got these together in Dublin while Taylor was visiting me at school.