is the owner of the cult favorite skincare brand LESSE
. Her minimalistic approach to design and presentation are apparent all around her, from LESSE's impeccable branding, to her home and her simple, elegant wardrobe. We chat with Neada about her background, her business and her personal take on wellness.
There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to beauty, and beauty goes so far beyond skin care and makeup. It's the food we eat, the way we view ourselves, how we engage with the world. When it comes to my skin care and makeup philosophy, I believe less is more –– that a simpler, more effective ritual allows us to practice beauty as self-care.
LESSE is formulated with carefully chosen botanicals because we want to ensure what you apply to your skin morning and night, day after day, is not just efficacious but also safe. Our products are made to be powerful but gentle, and created without harm to the environment.
Can you tell us a little about your background / how you started LESSE / ended up in Los Angeles?
I was working in editorial, coming from a fashion background, but there was no dedicated beauty editor. So I began to cover a lot of the stories and meet these incredible, insightful people who we were interviewing. I had always felt a deep connection to skin care but I had terrible adult acne throughout my early twenties, so I took this as an opportunity. I asked the difficult questions that were often cut from our stories and began doing my own side research on products and ingredients. I was also testing every product on the market, but none of them were gentle and effective enough for my acne-prone, hyper sensitive skin.
When I moved to Los Angeles, I decided to dedicate my nights and weekends to this research and eventually began developing my own formulas. I never planned to have a beauty brand, I suppose it happened out of my own necessity –– and hearing from so many people that they felt left behind by the industry. Our LESSE community is so educated and curious, they care that our products are vegan and cruelty-free and they do the work to look up ingredients and verify ours. We will always work to exceed their expectations in that way.
You currently offer three products… why these three? Do you plan to add more to the LESSE offering?
We take a slow approach to beauty. It's not about selling products customers don't need, it's about making the essential products that they want and are ready for. We are also so incredibly meticulous with the ingredients we use and how everything is formulated and packaged –– we can never be that company selling several different serums.
There are a some exciting new products coming later this year! We'll continue to have a slow roll out, with two or three product releases each year.
Did you always know you wanted to create your own product line or business, do you have a naturally entrepreneurial spirit?
I'm not sure anyone sets out to start their own company, it's just an idea that turns into something much bigger. Eventually it becomes something that you simply must do. You need to have that kind of drive and belief in your business because you'll work harder and care more about it than anything you've ever done before.
In some ways I'm equipped to have a company –– I have always worked incredibly hard for everything in life and I would say I have a very clear vision of what I want and how to create a roadmap to get there. But I also believe in finding support where you see weakness in your own ability. I come from a creative background, so of course I need a great accountant and I need support reading data. I'm determined to know enough about every aspect of my business, but you also have to create space for experts to come in and take the lead.
How do you unwind after a long day?
It always centers around food for me. A long dinner with good friends, or cooking–– using my hands in such a necessary way ––really helps to decompress and switch my mind off work.
Beauty trends you’re excited about right now?
It inspires me to see people care so much about how products are made and how they are packaged. There has been huge waves around shipping waste and a push towards more conscious materials being used. It's one of the best examples of how consumers can force change within an industry –– and we're so excited to be a part of it.
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