Lauren Curtis talks TikTok, treatments & why she's finally launching a beauty brand
By Delaney Loane
Digital Beauty Editor / August 25 2021
All hail the OG Aussie beauty guru
By Delaney Loane
Digital Beauty Editor / August 25 2021
Some people learnt how to apply makeup by watching their mums. Or maybe their older sisters, or some particularly contour-savvy pals. The rest of us, however, learned it all from Lauren Curtis.
An obvious standout among Australia's original beauty influencers, Curtis carved out her brand (an elevated but deeply relatable one, ICYMI) with a slew of content ranging from fake tanning how-tos to full faces of product first impressions.
One of the tutorials we still turn to this day? Her lash routine. While she sure doesn't mind a pair of fluffy falsies when the occasion falls for it, Curtis' everyday mascara application has always been something of a work of art.
And while the chances to simply slap her name on a brand over the years have no doubt been plentiful, she waited. For the perfect time, and specifically the perfect product. The natural fit? A mascara brand.
Yep, Curtis is officially dropping LOUNGEFACE Lash ($29 at loungeface.com), a tubular mascara designed to offer her signature spidery lashes without the struggle of post-rinse panda eyes.
Here, BEAUTYcrew chats to the beauty guru about everything from her must-try treatments and what she really thinks of TikTok to why now was the right moment for her foray into the beauty brand space...
Lauren Curtis on… her obsession with lashes
Yes, Curtis’ name is practically synonymous with ‘great lash game’ now, but what was the getting there like? “I was born with long eyelashes but they're naturally blonde, so when I started wearing makeup I fell in love with the before and after transformation that took place when I wore mascara,” she explains.
“It's still my favourite beauty product to this day! When I was younger, I'd layer as many coats as my eyelashes would allow. Dramatic? Yes. Flattering? No. Whereas now I'm more into a fanned-out lash look. It's all about the perfect balance of length, volume, and separation.”
Lauren Curtis on… LOUNGEFACE Lash
And so a mascara brand was born. So what sets this mascara apart from every other one on the planet, you ask? Well, it comes from a bonafide mascara aficionado, of course. And she refused to make compromises in any department.
“Where do I begin? LOUNGEFACE Lash provides you with all of the benefits you look for in a mascara – vegan and cruelty-free with an incredible tubing formula. This formula makes achieving big, bold, long lashes easier than ever,” explains Curtis.
“It is entirely smudge-proof, it will never rub off onto your eyelids and leave black dots (regardless of how oily or sweaty your skin is), it's flake-resistant, water-resistant and long-wearing. Not only is the formula unbeatable, but the wand is specially designed to act as a comb that separates your lashes as you go. Think long, defined, voluminous lashes.”
And just in case you’re sat there thinking “I just don’t think tubing mascara is for me”, Curtis has some words of wisdom: “I've converted many people to tubing mascaras, including my own mum and sister. Honestly, once you try it you just can't go back. The benefits are undeniable. Tubing mascara is the evolved version of traditional mascara!” Well, there you go.
Lauren Curtis on… building a beauty brand
If you (like us) were watching Curtis apply said mascara routine way back in 2012, you’re probably wondering why she waited until 2021 to launch a beauty brand. The demand (and no doubt the opportunity considering her popularity) were surely both there.
“That's a great question, and one that I'm sure many people will have,” she says. “I've been working on this brand since 2018, and prior to that I had so many other things on my mind. I didn't have the focus, the maturity, or the knowledge to undertake something like this. I currently feel more settled, grounded, and prepared than I've ever felt; so, I knew that if I was ever going to do it, now would be the perfect time.”
“It's had so many different phases within the three years I've been working on it,” Curtis shares of LOUNGEFACE Lash’s evolution. “The one thing I was sure about from the outset was that it needed to incorporate a pixel aesthetic. The retro, 8-bit design just makes me happy – I think it's because it reminds me of my childhood; watching my older siblings and cousins play games like Super Mario on our old-school Nintendo.”
“I also knew I didn't want the brand's colour palette to be comprised of pastel pinks and soft, feminine colours. I wanted them to be bold, bright and neon – colours that also tied in to the retro ‘80s and ‘90s video game aesthetic. It's been a balancing act trying to get the perfect blend of all of these elements whilst still having it make sense for a beauty brand. I'm thrilled with the end result!”
So was Curtis pulling her hair out in the lead-up to the launch? Er, not exactly. Ironically, it was her lashes. “Oh man, about a month or two ago I had a painful eyelash that felt like it was about to fall out,” she confesses when quizzed about her biggest ‘lash disaster’. “I kept gently pulling on what I thought was the sore eyelash and each time an eyelash would come out, but it would still hurt. It was driving me insane. Not ideal to have a gap in your natural eyelashes right before launching a MASCARA!”
Lauren Curtis on… her 2021 approach to social media
Sure, she practically invented beauty influencing in Australia, but how does Curtis evolve as times (and apps) change? “I like different platforms for different reasons,” she explains.
“YouTube allows me to nurture and grow my relationship with my followers on a deeper level due to the long-form nature of the content (a chatty hour-long video, for example). Instagram is quick and easy and allows me to stay connected with people throughout the day via Stories. I also like that they've got Reels, IGTV and wall posts there too - it makes it easier to grab and hold someone's attention because there are so many different kinds of content that might appeal to them. TikTok is just pure fun and allows me to be a little creative. A few years ago, I would have said YouTube was my main focus, but that's definitely shifted to focusing on all of the platforms a little more equally."
So is TikTok just pure fun, or did Curtis feel pressure when the Tok takeover first kicked off? “At first, I definitely feel pressure [when a new app launches], but then I experiment with the platform and quickly find out why it's been growing so rapidly,” she says. “[With] TikTok for example - I put off trying it out for so long because I thought it was just another social media platform to keep up with and I already had my plate full. Once I actually gave it a try, though, I fell in love with it. I'm also just less hard on myself these days. Life's too short to spread yourself thin and do things you don't actually want to do. I create content when I feel inspired to do so, on whatever platform best suits it.”
Lauren Curtis on… the products she couldn’t live without
We all know what would be the number one, but Curtis also has a few other makeup must-haves. “Lip balm! Perhaps a boring answer, but I have a lip balm for every room of the house, in my car and every bag,” Curtis confirms. “I also couldn't live without a brow product (like brow powder or a liquid brow pen) because brows frame your face. I've had my brows microbladed, but they fade over time, so filling in any sparse patches keeps them looking fresh. Lastly, I'd probably say foundation. I could live without it, but I'd miss it more than every other beauty product (aside from those mentioned above). It's so transformative.”
Lauren Curtis on... her favourite (and least favourite) beauty treatments
“A beauty treatment I loved was getting my eyebrows microbladed! [It was] one of the best (yet scariest) decisions I've made. Best because now I have permanently defined brows, scariest because if I hated them I'd be stuck with them for years,” she explains. “A treatment I wouldn't do again is probably laser hair removal in a clinic. I have an at-home device that gives me awesome results in the comfort and privacy of my own home.”
Lauren Curtis on… sourcing beauty inspiration
Think she’s letting celebrity selfies and red carpet looks inform her beauty game? Wrong. She prefers to find inspo IRL. “I feel strongly about running my own race when it comes to beauty,” Curtis shares. “I know what works for my face and features and I stick with it. I find everyday people to be the most inspiring, though. I'd be more likely to buy a lipstick if I saw someone rocking it in real life than I would be if it was a celebrity wearing it.”