Interview with CLĒ founder, CEO, & creative director Lauren Jin
Using effective, clean, and naturally-sourced ingredients, CLĒ Cosmetics is pioneering the stuff of dreams for the modern woman. BWB had the opportunity to speak with founder, CEO, and creative director Lauren Jin about what inspires her and the ethos that makes CLĒ so special.
Tell us a little about CLĒ Cosmetics, the concept that drives it, your ethos, and how your source your ingredients?
To me, beauty is universal and purely from the self. CLĒ is a brand that embraces that idea—that every woman is beautiful because she is uniquely herself. We simply provide tools to finesse your beauty in the way you desire.
CLĒ is about a modern lifestyle, I deem ‘modern’ as: staying informed and present.
Inspired by the modern woman, I explored the sensuality of the female form, the allure in imperfection, and the purity of the self.
CLĒ is about a modern lifestyle, I deem ‘modern’ as: staying informed and present. That truth and transparency are essential in creating authentic connections between people and the brands they allow to be a part of their lives.
We embrace all people—welcoming all identities to explore the essence of the feminine. All our ingredients are naturally sourced, wholesome, and cruelty-free. We source the best ingredients Asia has to offer and try to introduce ingredients that have been known for a long time in Asia, yet are not as familiar to the Western market.
For starting your business
I wanted to create a lifestyle brand designed to support the contemporary woman with beautiful self-care products as she pursues the fullest expression of her personal power and sensuality.
For staying creative
For product development, I tend to day dream a lot. I have this habit of letting my mind kind of wander and branch off into the ridiculous abyss. Various scenarios and product development tend to start from there. Also, there is this idea that just because a product has been made, does not mean it is the best. I am always trying to think of ways to better improve our current lineup.
How to be an effective leader
For me, it is to always listen to what my team is saying. And instead of telling them what to do, I always address any issue as a discussion. Always be open to various perspectives and possibilities.
“Once you know some things, you can’t unknow them. It’s a burden that can never be given away.” – Alice Hoffman
Morning beauty routine
Not going to lie. I am NOT a morning person. I tend to literally roll out of bed. But more because I read somewhere that sitting up in bed is not good for your spine. You should apparently roll to your side and push up from the opposite arm to sit up right.
Then, I hurry and wash up, because most likely I hit the snooze button way too much. I start off using the Oxygen Foam Cleanser, nearly half asleep. It’s great because I don’t need any water. After I let it bubble and foam up for 30 seconds, I splash cold water, pat dry.
Then I use our latest product, the Lifting Mist. My go-to facial oil is the Buly 1803 Mongongo Oil, a few drops of it onto my fingertips and I massage that in. Then, I use our CCC Cream, it’s great because there’s SPF in it, so I don’t need to apply sunblock.
While I’m waiting for the CCC Cream to oxygenate, I use Milk Choco as an eye shadow and blush base. Then use Hot Choco on the corner of my eyes to give it some depth. Then I use Blushing Peach or Desert Rose on my cheeks and apply the sample color I use on my cheeks on my lips. Or if I’m feeling more festive, I put Red Cherry on.
Your “you” time
Usually, when I am in a city, I try to take walks. Even if it is the same route, I like to decompress and get some outside air, think things over, but also at the same time, enjoy people watching.
Favorite outfit / tips to dress well
Oh no! This is such a hard question. Especially because it really depends on which city I am in. Each city has their own vibe that resonates with me. And gets me into a certain mood to dress a certain way. In LA, I love to wear a great graphic tee paired with my AA straight leg jeans. I usually keep it the most casual in Cali.
In Seoul, I usually keep it the most business-like. I’m always wearing trousers. Usually I have a clean black tee worn with my high rise grey plaid trousers with some nice flats. Usually though, I’m never without sweaters. Sweaters are life to my wardrobe!
In the evenings
Usually I am working. But when possible, I try to read. There’s a time in the day when my work in Korea is finished and LA has yet to wake up, or vice versa. That’s when I try to read at least a chapter in the current book I am reading.
YOUR CITY & BEYOND
What you love most about your city and/or hometown
My hometown’s weather is the sweet spot in Cali. Since it is 10 minutes away from the coastline, the faded ocean breeze comes through the town. Of course, there are times in the summer it gets hot, but it’s never as dry as downtown LA.
I also pack my multivitamins and allergy medicine just in case. I make sure to grab some Oxygen Foam Cleanser sample sachets to quickly wash my face on the plane.
Favorite spots to eat, shop, and go out
Of course there’s so many places, but I usually always make time to eat at those places! For shopping, I love walking along the small shopping streets in Korea, especially around Samcheong-dong, Hannam-dong, and Sinsa-dong. Sometimes you discover really fun stores in the process.
Favorite travel destinations worldwide & why?
I love Vienna. It’s such a romantic city. Although NYC is visually interactive. Vienna is such a lovely place to just stroll around. If walking around NYC is like a quick round of vocabulary flash cards, I would say Vienna is like a scroll.
YOUR BEAUTY & WELLNESS
Must-have skincare and makeup products
At the moment, I can’t go around without our Essence Moonlighter Cushion in Glinting Buff. I use it to even touch up dry spots on my face throughout the day.
I always make sure to get massages. Whether it’s a quick 15 mins or an intense deep tissue massage. I find it helps with my blood circulation and also since I am always hunching over in front of a desk, my muscles get tense easily.
When do you feel your best?
Definitely when I’ve had a nice long sleep. When I know, I will be able to sleep for a while, I put an extra layer of facial oil and vitamin C on my face. And before I go to sleep I try to clear my head of all the stress and worries. Whether its sitting down and meditating or when I’m lying in bed. I wake up to my body and mind rested. And my face extra soft and bright!
CLĒ’s vision for a better world?
I think that it’s really important to uplift each other instead of comparing and putting down each other; to celebrate our unique beauty and highlight those aspects. More focus on the positive perspective, rather than the negative in others.
Bestsellers & latest products?
What you’re working on now
Currently, I am working on a huge project for CLĒ. We are in the first stages of developing a different approach to skincare. Also, some products for the body.
Plans for the future
I want to open a physical space for CLĒ. A place where you can relax, pamper yourself, hang out with awesome people, and be able to just treat yourself.
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Taylor is a recent honors graduate of Rhode Island School of Design’s Painting and Art History Department. A dual-citizen in Belgium and the U.S. with frequent wanderlust, a passion for editorial, and an affinity for sketching, she is now exploring the connection between art and beauty.