Did you ever look at a label on a beauty product and notice there are a handful of ingredients that you do not understand or know how to pronounce? Like most of us, Lauren Evashenk did too. In a unlucky quest to clean up her beauty routine, this Seattle based #girlboss took matters into her own hands and created Naked Truth Beauty: the stripped-down, simple, and socially responsible cosmetic line that is good for our bodies, communities and the environment.
Naked Truth Beauty takes the guess work out of choosing safe and sustainable products, giving consumers the choice to determine what acceptable (or unacceptable) beauty risks they want to take. The brand uses only the highest quality and pronounceable, Earth derived ingredients; but it’s not just what’s on the inside of the tubes that counts. As a natural & cleaning living enthusiast, and an advocate for safer consumer products, Lauren makes sure that the Naked Truth Beauty collection is housed in recyclable, compostable and/or biodegradable packaging. Now that’s what you call do good, feel better.
Lucky for us, she’s stopping by AGL to share how she got started, what her creative process is like, the changes within the industry, and what exciting news we should be on the lookout for!
Can you tell us a bit about your background? I got into cosmetics through my own curiosity about the beauty space. Four years ago, I became very conscious of the labels on my products and was seeking out clean, green and simple ingredients. After I began doing research on green-washing, I noticed that the cosmetics industry is essentially unregulated, and there is an ‘ask for forgiveness, not permission’ system when it comes to testing and consumer safety. This was a huge concern for me, and I wanted products that I felt confident using on my body. I set out to my kitchen to begin creating my own formulas. I would give them to interested family and friends, and received a great response. This was my side hustle for a while, and in my move from LA to Seattle, I decided to pursue my dream and make my vision of developing and sharing better-for-you beauty products a reality. From the formulas, to the biodegradable packaging, I use the highest quality and performing ingredients that do good, while supporting your beauty needs. Making cleaner choices should be easy!
What was your "gold lining" moment that lead you down this career path? I was in between making a decision to take a new corporate job offer in Seattle and I received a phone call from an old boss of mine asking me if I was still doing that makeup thing (creating my own products). I replied yes, and he expressed interest in investing in the brand. Although we did not move forward with a partnership, this is what I would consider my gold lining moment. The fact that he would take the financial risk on me, and really believed in what I was creating, was that little extra push I needed to take the leap of faith to pursue what I had dreamed of doing - creating an organic, all natural beauty brand. As you can imagine, I turned down the job offer and Naked Truth Beauty was born.
What was the inspiration behind the name of your company? I wanted to choose a name that the consumer knew exactly what the company stood for, and what the collection included. My husband and I were always brainstorming brand names, and then Naked Beauty stuck. In googling, we found that that name could be problematic (NSFW) so we added in “truth.” Naked Truth Beauty stands for exactly how it reads. In our collection, consumers get what they see on the label: the highest quality and performing ingredients, all made up of words they can actually pronounce, with nothing hidden or mysterious. If you were to look at the “green” beauty spectrum, we are the darkest shade. I never want anyone to take my word for it that it’s good for you.
What is your creative process like? Who or what inspires you to create a new product or collection? My original driving force behind the brand was “need.” There was a great source of DIY recipes for cleaning up your lifestyle, but cosmetics were more difficult to “fake.” You can’t just use beet powder to replace your blush and think you’re going to be happy with it in the long term! That’s where I came in and began to formulate simple color palettes that that filled this gap. I go to a lot of fairs, markets and shows and the real women that I meet along the way inspire my shades. I sell everything from natural, to bold, to more fashion forward products.
What has been the most exciting moment in your career to date? I have had a good number of wins lately. One, in particular, was my meeting with Courean Napolitano, the founder of Vixen Day Spa & Boutique in Magnolia, Seattle. During our meeting, I shared the Naked Truth Beauty tester kit with Courean and she loved the product and noted that she would like to carry the collection in the store. For one of the first times, it didn’t feel like I was “selling” someone. It was really special to connect with a highly respected woman in the industry, and watch her respond so positively to the brand.
How has the space changed since you first opened Naked Truth Beauty? Four years ago when I started experimenting with natural ingredients, people thought I was nuts when I tried to explain the importance of non-toxic beauty. People were eating organic, but putting toxins on their skin. There wasn’t yet this widespread awareness that the ingredients in personal care products really matter because skin is the largest organ. Then, Jessica Alba launched The Honest Company and turned it into a billion dollar business. That was the beginning of the more mainstream organic and natural beauty roll outs. The industry has blow up since then and it’s interesting to see the different facets people are looking for - cruelty free, vegan, organic, natural. There are different ways you can call something “good,” or “better for you.” An individual might be looking for “vegan” products, but may not be paying close attention to the healthiness of the ingredients. For a business, it’s important to pay attention to the buzzwords, purchasing decisions, etc. Today, consumers have choices over their beauty products and are their own regulators.
As someone who has started their own business, what is the secret to your success? Learn to trust your own voice and instincts and follow your compass. Everyone has an opinion and lots of people will want to share their advice – and feedback is important – but there are times when you need to politely listen, thank those individuals, and move forward with trusting your gut. I’ve done this countless times and it has continuously turned out for the better. Throughout my brand development, outside influences have tried to make my collection more conventional, from packaging to the formulas, but I created a product to solve a specific problem and refuse to lose sight of my vision and brand identity. That’s what keeps my brand separate from the pack.
In moments of self-doubt or adversity, how do you build yourself back up? Being an entrepreneur has it’s challenges. It is both a creative process and an extension of yourself so you become way more vulnerable vs. when you are working for someone else. Fortunately, I have found a community of other female entrepreneurs that I meet with on a weekly basis to talk about business, challenges, wins and strategies. Being part of a network of women is incredibly uplifting and I feel very lucky to have peers that support one another and are each accomplishing great things.
What quotation or saying inspires you and motivates you to be yourself and do what you love? "I dwell in possibility," - Emily Dickinson. My personal mantra is that “the possibilities are endless.” It’s very easy to become overwhelmed by uncertainty, frustration, what’s not working like you’d hoped, but you can choose to be in a place of what is possible. When you dwell in positive thoughts, they open skies of possibilities.
What characteristics do you admire most in creative women and men?When he/she has the ability to think or do something differently with fire, enthusiasm and kindness. I admire disrupters who believe in what they are doing, put their vision out into the world and stick by it despite any odds or opinions. Additionally, I really appreciate men and women that are socially responsible and think beyond the bottom line. It’s great to see more companies that are making positive environmental and social impact.
Is there anything exciting coming down the pipeline that we should keep an eye out for? Naked Truth Baby will be coming soon! Additionally, we will be introducing foundation and concealer by popular demand.
What's your zodiac sign? Capricorn.
Recent discovery? This isn’t new or a discovery, but I’m pregnant and obsessed with kimchi.
What is your favorite ingredient in beauty and wellness right now? I really love Shea Butter! Not only is it super nourishing for the skin, but it also has therapeutic properties.
What is your philosophy on self care? What would you say is your number one self care tip? It’s really important, especially being a Capricorn that’s always on the go. I have a type-A personality so I make it a priority to step back and be mindful of what’s happening right now, eat what feels good for my body, exercise, and make time for my family and friends.
Follow the brand's journey at @nakedtruthbeauty! For all those living in the Seattle area, you can meet Lauren and check out the collection at The Vixen Day Spa & Boutique Naked Truth Beauty Launch Party on Saturday, November 4th from 12 PM to 3 PM. The party will be held at: 3209 W. McGraw, Seattle, WA 98199.