How Nudestix Flipped The Script On The Beauty Industry With Its ‘Nudies’ And ‘No-Makeup’ Makeup

Nudestix, the award-winning ‘no-makeup makeup’ brand first launched in 2014, at the tail end of an era where artistry and color application — ‘makeup to the max’ or more is more — were the beauty trends du jour, dominating the cosmetics industry.

Best known for its stick format, effortless makeup, Nudestix was cofounded by cosmetics veteran Jenny Frankel (President), a chemical engineer with over two decades of experience developing beauty products, and her daughters, Taylor (Chief Brand Officer) and Ally (Chief Inspiration Officer).

The brand is widely recognized for its Nudies, which can be considered the hero product: they are multi-purpose cheek, lip and eye makeup ‘crayon’ type of sticks, which account for 40 to 50 percent of its overall business. According to Taylor Frankel, official spokesperson for the brand, “By the end of 2022, a Nudie stick was sold every minute, somewhere in the world.”

Nudestix provides a simple, multi-tasking, vegan skincare regimen for a confident, nude-faced look, so it makes sense that its ethos is also about revealing and removing a layer, and being vulnerable. “Not feeling like you need to wear a proverbial mask, with makeup. Be real, be yourself and be confident in that,” Frankel asserts.

After six years of gaining rapid credibility in the cosmetics industry, the brand expanded into a new category with the launch of Nudeskin, a tight edit of skincare products, in October 2020.

Now, Nudestix is taking expansion a step further with the introduction of Nudebody — the third beauty minimalist beauty category for Nudestix. It’s a three-piece collection created in collaboration with Sofia Richie, the brand’s ‘Nude Beauty Director’ and investor.

Nudebody is a vegan-powered, ‘cleanically’ luxurious body care line, boasting multi-purpose treatment formulations that optimize skin renewal. The Nudebody promise is all about balance: loving all of your nude parts through self-care for a calm mind and energized body.

Built on the Nudeskin foundation of Skin Renewal Optimization (SRO), Nudebody optimizes daily skin health and increases the rate of skin renewal by exfoliating dead skin at the epidermis layer.

Nudestix was grounded in the philosophy of minimalism from the jump, when they first launched with sticks in neutral tones.

The cofounding trio came about the idea for Nudestix thanks to Jenny, whose career at MAC ensured daughters Taylor and Ally were consistently surrounded by makeup and beauty. Jenny can be credited for having a hand in creating iconic formulas for MAC, such as “Lipglass” and the Pro Foundation.

But while Jenny’s career in the beauty industry was more about artistry, Taylor and Ally — who hail from the millennial and Gen Z demographics, respectively — were all about minimalism, effortless, no-fuss beauty.

“Our whitespace was about multi-tasking, minimalist makeup,’ Taylor Frankel explains. “If you walked into a retailer, you saw the most beautiful model with the most flawless skin, and as much as you can appreciate the beauty and the artistry, I would say, ‘That’s pretty, but it doesn’t feel real. It doesn’t feel approachable.’ So that’s where we had this aha moment to say, ‘There are so many beauty brands out there with so many beautiful products, but if they’re not speaking to today’s modern customer in a way that’s authentic and relatable to them, the customer isn’t seeing whatever products the brands had to offer.’”

When they first launched and were going through their R&D process, Jenny had brought home some pencils. That’s where Taylor and Aly had another spark moment: while pencils have always been a standard product in cosmetics, it didn’t feel like brands had tapped into how to use them in a modern or relevant way. This led to the concept of doubling down on sticks, to be used without a brush. Consumers could simply apply the makeup multi-tasking sticks with a dab or a swipe here, and a smudge there.

As millennial and Gen X consumers themselves, it was critical for Taylor and Ally to make Nudestix clean and sustainable. As a result, even the tins the sticks come in are made of tin plate, which is one of the most recyclable materials. The tins also feature a mirror inside, allowing for the packaging to be reusable. Even from a packaging perspective, everything is PVC free, all outer packaging is biodegradable, and the tubes are recyclable.

Nudestix is more than a beauty brand: it’s a lifestyle brand. Its innovation makes it possible to eliminate brushes and accompanying application tools, which means the products are super portable and meant to be carried along in a purse or diaper bag, as opposed to on display on a vanity or sitting beautifully on a desk. “We really want your sticks to look well-loved,” Taylor asserts.

Nudestix is putting purpose in multi-purpose, by also developing community via its purpose-driven social media content.

As the official spokesperson for the brand, Taylor is vocal and gets vulnerable on the Nudestix platform (the channels currently boast a cumulative community of over 700k people), as well as on her personal social media channels.

“If your social content doesn’t feel authentic to your customer, it’s not going to resonate. Which is why we’re seeing a ton of brands go viral on TikTok, and garner this beautiful community. I think step one is thinking about, what are the ways that you can do things in a very grassroots method? and then go from there and put paid media against it.”

To Frankel, one of the biggest superpowers as a founder is creating that authentic relationship. And it’s like any relationship in life — it takes consistency, time and energy.

“I always treated our customer and our community as a friend,” Frankel adds. “And I think that’s always been at the root of everything we do and how we talk to them. How do you humanize your brand? How do you bring a personality and add a human touch? I also think that it comes down to knowing who your customer is, and how they want to be spoken to as well.”

With a deep understanding and aptitude for social media, Frankel drives the brand and creates loyalists wherever she goes.

Frankel continues to inspire through her efforts by advocating for Love Is Louder (a movement by The Jed Foundation in support of Mental Health Awareness), The Canopy Project and WWF (in support of the environment and wildlife), and Beauty Be Change (in support of spotlighting under-represented artists and content creators in the beauty industry).

The brand has come a long way since it first launched in 2014 and has since experienced exponential growth, while expanding its retail footprint in Sephora North America and Ulta (Nudestix and Nudeskin are available at both), Macy’s, Nordstrom, and Revolve (carries Nudestix and Nudeskin; Nudebody will launch at Revolve as of April 1).

There’s even a global footprint: the brand is available in the UK at Selfridges, Boots, Sephora UK (online), The Hut Group (and more), at Sephora in Europe, India, the Middle East, as well as Australia and New Zealand. (Nudestix projects distribution in over 2,500 stores, globally.)

Nudestix is certainly disrupting the industry, by continuously coloring outside the lines.

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