Jenna Lyons on Her New Beauty Line, Daily Skin Rituals, and Taking Her Teeth Out
It's no secret celebrities have been launching their own beauty brands with exponential vigor. There's Fenty Beauty by Rihanna, Haus Laboratories by Lady Gaga, Pattern Beauty by Tracee Ellis Ross, Rare Beauty by Selena Gomez, and many more. That's not a dig (some of my all-time favorite products are celeb brainchildren, after all), but they are a part of a saturated chapter in a super-saturated industry. To make an indent, one that will actually be meaningful and serviceable to the overstimulated beauty consumer, you have to find a niche. And, in a very refreshing plot twist, that's where Jenna Lyons comes in.
If you're surprised a designer and fashion industry icon like Lyons has entered the beauty ring, you shouldn't be because, really, she's been here all along. Style and beauty are inextricably woven together, something the former president and executive creative director of J. Crew is intimately aware of. As Lyons explains to us later on, the world of fashion, quite simply, wouldn't exist without beauty. That being said, her brand-new beauty venture, a stunning line of false eyelashes called LoveSeen, has a very specific directive: the amplification of beauty versus the manipulation of beauty—a sentiment that hasn't always rung true in an industry that, historically, has prioritized cookie-cutter conceptualizations.
LoveSeen, a versatile, celebratory, and deliciously customizable approach to falsies, also represents the long-standing relationship Lyons has had with makeup artist Troi Ollivierre. By co-creating a brand of "equal opportunity" false lashes, they're not only coloring into the lines of a notoriously nonvibrant product category, but they're also co-piloting a passion project that hits personally. (Lyons, for instance, has a genetic condition called incontinentia pigmenti and was born practically eyelashless.) So, amid an industry that still has a lot of limbering up to do, Lyons and Ollivierre are pulling off the ultimate flex.
Keep scrolling to learn everything you need to know about your soon-to-be lash obsession and to read our one-on-one chat with Lyons on all things beauty, LoveSeen, and more.
If you had to leave the house in five minutes or less, what products would you use?
Here’s my five-minute out-the-door routine: I'll do a quick exfoliation using Arcona's Brightening Gommage, then I'll moisturize with Biologique Recherche's Creme Masque Vernix. To cover the ills, I like Dior's Airflash Spray Foundation and a little bit of Glossier Cloud Paint in Storm to brighten up my face. Next, I'll apply my LoveSeen lashes, Jack in Brown/Black, and a quick swish of eyebrows. Glasses, perfume, Davids natural toothpaste, and I'm out the door.
On days when you’re not working or you’re just staying in, what does your skincare routine look like both morning and night?
In the morning, I stick to Arcona's Brightening Gommage and Biologique Recherche's Creme Masque Vernix. At night, I love Dr. Barbara Sturm's Cleanser followed by Biologique Recherche's Lotion P50. I've been alternating between Adipeau's Fat Balance Activator or Augustinus Bader's Rich Cream for hydration, and I'll top it all off with Glossier's Balm Dotcom in Mint or Laneige's Lip Sleeping Mask.
You have incontinentia pigmenti—how has that impacted the way you’ve navigated the beauty space over the years or how you go about selecting products?
Because there are parts of me that didn’t always feel beautiful or like they fit in, I've learned to focus my energy on amplifying the things I do feel have worked out on my behalf. I think beauty can be as simple as the right smile, a good hug, a warm handshake, or even smelling good.
What’s one thing about your beauty routine that would surprise people?
I can take out my teeth.
Do you have any "guilty pleasure" beauty practices or products?
I love an afternoon nap.
You’re known as such a style icon—has your relationship with beauty influenced your approach to fashion at all or vice versa?
The world of fashion does not exist without beauty. During my tenure at J. Crew, we spent just as much time talking about the clothes as we did about the hair and makeup, the model selection, the mood. The fashion industry highlights designers, but what you don’t always see are the people behind the scenes completing the looks—they are intrinsically connected. LoveSeen has simply been a shift in focus for me, and it's been a lifelong pursuit for Troi.
You’ve chosen lashes, specifically, as your first foray into the beauty arena—how did that come about?
Totally by accident. I started simply by researching the industry as a consulting project, and after doing so, I realized that one of my personal obsessions—eyelashes—has also become an industry obsession. I saw what I deemed as white space in the market, something that allowed for amplification and definition without traditional drama or a full beat of makeup. It made me want to present a different point of view, and I felt like I could do something that felt personal but would still be serviceable.
If you had to choose a favorite lash set, which would you choose, what would you wear, and what other beauty products would you apply to enhance your look?
My current favorite is Jack in Brown/Black, although I know that will probably change by next week. I have a Nars palette that's been in heavy rotation recently, and I would wear a suit.
How did your background in fashion and Ollivierre's background in beauty come together to create a line of lashes unlike anything else on the market?
I have worked with Troi for over 20 years, and we have spent endless hours talking about beauty through amplification, not manipulation. When I started thinking about doing it myself, I knew Troi would be the person I wanted to collaborate with.
Are there any other types of beauty products you feel excited or passionate about creating in the future?
Anything that will sell. Momma’s gotta make cash!
If you could give our readers one piece of beauty advice that’s made a significant impact in your life, what would it be?
Exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate.
You’ve recently entered your 50s—what’s your approach to aging? How do you see your routine changing, if at all, in terms of products or treatments?
Embracing the gray, loving my wrinkles, smiling a lot, and a Waterpik.
You'll choose your lashes—they won't choose you. As the brand explains, LoveSeen lashes were specifically crafted to fit you and not the other way around. "We make lashes for anyone who goes by she, he, him, her, them, they." Every lash style is designed to fit all eye shapes, face shapes, skin tones, ages, occasions, and moods.
They're (sustainably) made for stamina. While they may be delicate (all lash styles are made from nylon and PET), they do, if cared for properly, have a comparatively long life span. Treat them with TLC, and you'll get up to 10 wears per lash set. Oh, and if you're curious about LoveSeen's packaging ethos, each lash pack is made from postconsumer recycled cardboard and uncoated paper, so they can be fully recycled after you've removed the window (made from postconsumer recycled plastic) and cord (made 100% cotton). Additionally, the biodegradable tray is made from unbleached sugarcane pulp, and the brand only uses soy-based ink.
Application is less headachy. First, let's talk adhesive. LoveSeen explains it partnered with Duo Glue because the lash adhesive formula is formaldehyde- and latex-free with the perfect dose of tackiness. Additionally, LoveSeen is launching a chic, supremely handy lash application tool which utilizes the pinching technology of tweezers but with a design approach similar to an eyelash curler. Essentially, the unique tool allows you to hold onto each lash while coming in from the front to apply your lash at eye level.
Up next, 11 Super-Effective Curling Mascaras If Your Lashes Are Stick Straight