#SWAAYthenarrative

How These Teenage Sisters Reinvented Makeup For The Millennial Minimalist

People

Ally and Taylor Frankel's brand Nudestix has taken the beauty market to task in the past year with its minimalist beauty aesthetic and easy application. The indie sensation has become a hit with the millennial generation rising up against make-up heavy faces and SWAAY talked to Taylor about leading the way forward with their minimalist movement.


“We do not aspire to look perfect and flawless - we just want to look like ourselves - but also, we just want something quick and easy, and to embrace our natural beauty"

The girls' mom left her high profile job back in 2011 so she could devote more time to her children's upbringing - an Eat, Pray, Love moment Taylor calls it, and with that she had more time to spend watching the girls, listening and observing their habits. Before long, the girls and their morning routine would come to resemble a family business opportunity the likes of which the billion dollar cosmetics industry has never seen.

In an era of youtubers and make-up tutorials, the girls made a break from the discerningly heavy and obvious make-up trends of old and saw a white space in the market for a more minimal, toned down look. Instead of trying to emulate beauty bloggers and celebrities, Ally and Taylor encourage you to look like yourself. And they're now attributed to one of the biggest trends of late - the stick and its multi-form, multi-use, hassle-free application.

The girls "multitasking lives" demanded a product that merely accentuated their best features rather than sculpting their entire face. There simply wasn't the time anymore for something extraneous. They aren't #MUAs nor do they profess to be; they're the everygirl, working to produce a line for girls like them to use quickly and efficiently everyday - and the stick form does this. Neutral shades are the girls go to and the sticks can thus become multipurpose - for your eye, lip and cheek.

"We're not make-up artists"

"The beauty industry talks a lot about perfection, flawlessness and make up artistry, 'full face' - and it totally turned us off"

Enter Nudestix - the make up brand for the millennial minimalist.

Sisters Ally(17) and Taylor(20) represent a youthful ignorance toward the by-gone age of Sex in the City whereby their mother and her peers would lather on make up and pour over their imperfections for superfluous amounts of time with brushes and creams before deeming themselves ready for the day ahead. Their Nudestix campaign 'Go Nude but Luminous' attests to a generation who care about their appearance but refuse to spend the amount of hours previous generations have spent layering on le macquiallage. "It was about enhancing what we already had" says Taylor. Having become a bit peeved at how the cosmetic industry was talking to women - instructing them on the heavy amounts of make-up it's deemed necessary to wear in our airbrushed world - the girls and their mother decided a neutral and minimalist approach was the future. “Even though there were all these beauty products out there," Taylor remonstrates, “they weren't talking to us about beauty the way we wanted to be talked to."

Their mother, Jenny Frankel, was mixer and make-up extraordinaire(the woman who brought you M.A.C's lipglass) before taking time off from her prolific career in cosmetics to focus on her daughters' upbringing - “our mom has been in the beauty industry for twenty years," Taylor laughs, “she co-created her own beauty brand while my sister and I were both in diapers." And so the story goes that when the girls grew up and start acquiring their own sense of style and makeup routines, Jenny recognized the difference in her daughters' routine versus her own, and saw an opening in the market for the busy millennials, and thereafter, Nudestix was found.

The girls and their mother have worked tirelessly to produce products that represent a new age of Make-up and a new trend that has very quickly caught on. It has become a niche in a market that almost demands superfluity - purple eyeshadows; sculpted faces; burlesque lips. "We like to think about make-up in a way a lot of people aren't talking about it," Taylor posits - "which is, you don't need to wear a full face. You can wear a little bit in strategic places to accentuate your features."

"We're your everyday girls - we're students, we're working"

Having rose quickly to fame because of their appearance on QVC, where they were allowed the run of the show - from curating to producing, you can now find the product pretty much everywhere - most notably on the shelves in Sephora. The brand 'for millennials, by millennials' is seriously hot stuff and was included in my round-up email last week from the make-up retailer. The girls have certainly started a trend, with many other makeup lines now adding multi-use pencils to their product lists.

"It's a trend now which is awesome," Taylor recognizes in her competition, "but for us, it was really about creating a product that was multi-use." The simplification of the beauty process and the accentuation of natural beauty having been their aim from the beginning its only natural that the brand has become such a success. We recently got to try the matte lip pencil and the highlighter, and as busy women constantly running around the city - these pencils are the very best product for the woman with little to no time. If these teens don't scream aspirational goals - I don't know who does.

"We want people to be able to say - these girls, they're your girls next door, if they can do it, so can we"

3 Min Read
Health

7 Must-have Tips to Keep You Healthy and Fit for the Unpredictable COVID Future

With a lack of certainty surrounding the future, being and feeling healthy may help bring the security that you need during these unpredictable times.

When it comes to your health, there is a direct relationship between nutrition and physical activity that play an enormous part in physical, mental, and social well-being. As COVID-19 continues to impact almost every aspect of our lives, the uncertainty of the future may seem looming. Sometimes improvisation is necessary, and understanding how to stay healthy and fit can significantly help you manage your well-being during these times.

Tip 1: Communicate with your current wellness providers and set a plan

Gyms, group fitness studios, trainers, and professionals can help you to lay out a plan that will either keep you on track through all of the changes and restrictions or help you to get back on the ball so that all of your health objectives are met.

Most facilities and providers are setting plans to provide for their clients and customers to accommodate the unpredictable future. The key to remaining consistent is to have solid plans in place. This means setting a plan A, plan B, and perhaps even a plan C. An enormous amount is on the table for this coming fall and winter; if your gym closes again, what is your plan? If outdoor exercising is not an option due to the weather, what is your plan? Leaving things to chance will significantly increase your chances of falling off of your regimen and will make consistency a big problem.

The key to remaining consistent is to have solid plans in place. This means setting a plan A, plan B, and perhaps even a plan C.

Tip 2: Stay active for both mental and physical health benefits

The rise of stress and anxiety as a result of the uncertainty around COVID-19 has affected everyone in some way. Staying active by exercising helps alleviate stress by releasing chemicals like serotonin and endorphins in your brain. In turn, these released chemicals can help improve your mood and even reduce risk of depression and cognitive decline. Additionally, physical activity can help boost your immune system and provide long term health benefits.

With the new work-from-home norm, it can be easy to bypass how much time you are spending sedentary. Be aware of your sitting time and balance it with activity. Struggling to find ways to stay active? Start simple with activities like going for a walk outside, doing a few reps in exchange for extra Netflix time, or even setting an alarm to move during your workday.

Tip 3: Start slow and strong

If you, like many others during the pandemic shift, have taken some time off of your normal fitness routine, don't push yourself to dive in head first, as this may lead to burnout, injury, and soreness. Plan to start at 50 percent of the volume and intensity of prior workouts when you return to the gym. Inactivity eats away at muscle mass, so rather than focusing on cardio, head to the weights or resistance bands and work on rebuilding your strength.

Be aware of your sitting time and balance it with activity.

Tip 4: If your gym is open, prepare to sanitize

In a study published earlier this year, researchers found drug-resistant bacteria, the flu virus, and other pathogens on about 25 percent of the surfaces they tested in multiple athletic training facilities. Even with heightened gym cleaning procedures in place for many facilities, if you are returning to the gym, ensuring that you disinfect any surfaces before and after using them is key.

When spraying disinfectant, wait a few minutes to kill the germs before wiping down the equipment. Also, don't forget to wash your hands frequently. In an enclosed space where many people are breathing heavier than usual, this can allow for a possible increase in virus droplets, so make sure to wear a mask and practice social distancing. Staying in the know and preparing for new gym policies will make it easy to return to these types of facilities as protocols and mutual respect can be agreed upon.

Tip 5: Have a good routine that extends outside of just your fitness

From work to working out, many routines have faltered during the COVID pandemic. If getting back into the routine seems daunting, investing in a new exercise machine, trainer, or small gadget can help to motivate you. Whether it's a larger investment such as a Peloton, a smaller device such as a Fitbit, or simply a great trainer, something new and fresh is always a great stimulus and motivator.

Make sure that when you do wake up well-rested, you are getting out of your pajamas and starting your day with a morning routine.

Just because you are working from home with a computer available 24/7 doesn't mean you have to sacrifice your entire day to work. Setting work hours, just as you would in the office, can help you to stay focused and productive.

A good night's sleep is also integral to obtaining and maintaining a healthy and effective routine. Adults need seven or more hours of sleep per night for their best health and wellbeing, so prioritizing your sleep schedule can drastically improve your day and is an important factor to staying healthy. Make sure that when you do wake up well-rested, you are getting out of your pajamas and starting your day with a morning routine. This can help the rest of your day feel normal while the uncertainty of working from home continues.

Tip 6: Focus on food and nutrition

In addition to having a well-rounded daily routine, eating at scheduled times throughout the day can help decrease poor food choices and unhealthy cravings. Understanding the nutrients that your body needs to stay healthy can help you stay more alert, but they do vary from person to person. If you are unsure of your suggested nutritional intake, check out a nutrition calculator.

If you are someone that prefers smaller meals and more snacks throughout the day, make sure you have plenty of healthy options, like fruits, vegetables and lean proteins available (an apple a day keeps the hospital away). While you may spend most of your time from home, meal prepping and planning can make your day flow easier without having to take a break to make an entire meal in the middle of your work day. Most importantly, stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.

Tip 7: Don't forget about your mental health

While focusing on daily habits and routines to improve your physical health is important, it is also a great time to turn inward and check in with yourself. Perhaps your anxiety has increased and it's impacting your work or day-to-day life. Determining the cause and taking proactive steps toward mitigating these occurrences are important.

For example, with the increase in handwashing, this can also be a great time to practice mini meditation sessions by focusing on taking deep breaths. This can reduce anxiety and even lower your blood pressure. Keeping a journal and writing out your daily thoughts or worries can also help manage stress during unpredictable times, too.

While the future of COVI9-19 and our lives may be unpredictable, you can manage your personal uncertainties by focusing on improving the lifestyle factors you can control—from staying active to having a routine and focusing on your mental health—to make sure that you emerge from this pandemic as your same old self or maybe even better.