“Vênsette is for women on the go, and we offer professional hair and makeup in under 90 minutes—we come to you, in a uniform, with the best products available. I created this company because I really saw a need in the market. It’s not so much about product—there’s really great product out there, especially when you reach a certain price point—it’s about service. I used to work in finance and I would often go from the office to an event, and I’d have maybe 45 minutes to get ready, and if I was lucky, during my lunch break I could run across the street to a hole in the wall salon and get my hair blown out for $30. But when it came to makeup, there was really no viable option to get your makeup done. Many women can do their makeup and they will, but for the big events, why do it if it’s not your strong suit. Yes you can paint your house or your living room, but there’d be streaks and it may not look great. But if you hire a professional, it’s just always going to look so much better. And because I’m hiring professional artists—they’re doing shoots, they’re doing fashion week, they’re seeing all the trends—they’re on the cutting edge of beauty. If you go to a salon, they’re just giving you the cut and dry of what they learned in beauty school. Our clients are socialites and Upper East Side mothers, yes, but also a lot of women in finance, lawyers…we’re doing a judge next week!
A huge part of my day is testing hair and makeup artists—the requirement of the company is that after they’ve finished their training and demos, they have to do all the looks on me. The idea being that, if I’m not happy with something, I’m not going to send the artist out to clients until we address how we can improve. So I take a shower in the morning and wash my hair with Shu Uemura, and use a little Kérastase leave-in conditioner. I go to Michael Angelo at Michael Angelo’s Wonderland Beauty Parlor for color—he’s incredible. He knows how to do blonds to tee—he really works around your skin tone. I will never go somewhere else. In terms of skincare, I used to use DDF—they have a great face wash with 5% glycolic acid—and I really like that it was created by a dermatologist and is super basic. I don’t like to get too fancy with my skin care. And then a friend recommended this company called Gunilla of Sweden. It’s made by a top laboratory in Sweden, and there’s zero marketing, zero packaging, but it’s an incredible price point for an incredible product. It’s aloe based as opposed to water based, there’s not a lot of filler, so I’ve recently switched to that and I’ve been super happy with it. I like Lancôme eye makeup remover, it’s just a classic that every woman should have, and I’ve become a fan of Estée Lauder’s toners. That’s what we use in our company. I also give myself facials at the gym—I love the steam room, so I’ll bring this Fresh Sugar face scrub that I love, and this great organic clay mask from Gunilla of Sweden, and exfoliate and sit in the steam room with the mask on for 15 minutes. People look at me like I’m crazy.
Before I started my company, I used to get my makeup done at the Chanel counter at Bloomingdales, which was just around the corner from my office. I found this girl, she was twenty-two, she loved doing makeup; she’s actually working with my company now! So I’d buy a few products each time, and now most of my makeup is Chanel. My favorite is their foundation, all the formulas. The three things I really use everyday though are bronzer, mascara and concealer. Because bronzer you can really use as a lip, or an eye—you can mix it with your cream and it will give you a great tone. I use Physician’s Formula bronzer, which is great because it comes in three shades. I wear lipstick at night or if I have a meeting—I think it gives you a really polished, pulled together look…like earrings. I always wear earrings when I go to a meeting. I love Armani #400—it’s their red, and it’s universally flattering. I did a huge amount of research on lipsticks for Vênsette, and really like Armani because there’s no glitter, or shimmer, and the consistency is great. I’m also a really big fan of fake eyelashes—sometimes I wear fake eyelashes, lip gloss, and that’s it. Duane Reade has really good ones for $4. My roommate from college, upon graduation, told me, 'Lauren, I’ve learned a lot from living with you, but the one thing I’ll never be able to thank you for enough is the discovery of fake eyelashes.'"