How I Landed It: Taylor Frankel, Co-Founder of Nudestix
From starting a makeup range in high school to scoring Hilary Duff as an investor…
By Ruby Cotton
May 08 2023
For most of us, our last year of high school was full of exams, textbooks and parties. But for Taylor Frankel, co-founder and chief brand officer of the global beauty brand Nudestix, being 17 took a wildly different turn.
Instead of just purchasing makeup to wear to her graduation parties, Frankel was producing it. She began designing, formulating and testing products alongside her then 14-year-old sister Ally and chemical engineer and ex-MAC product developer mum Jenny.
And just like that, this family business quickly grew to become one of the most respected makeup brands in the world. Not only capturing the attention of global stockists like Sephora, but also celebrity investors like Chelsea Handler and Hilary Duff. And of course, the newly-appointed Beauty Director, Sofia Richie. With a mum who co-founded CoverFX, they weren’t exactly entering the beauty world blind…
So, where are they now? BEAUTYcrew caught up with Taylor to chat about the company's newest release Nudeskin, as well as gathering her tried and tested tips for budding beauty entrepreneurs. Plus, we asked Taylor where she draws inspiration from. Hint hint: it’s a past How I Landed It interviewee.
Let’s take it back to the beginning. Before Nudestix, had you ever had any other job?
When we started Nudestix, I was the ripe age of 17-years-old, so I did not have many work experiences other than a few retail floor jobs.
What was your first exposure to the beauty industry? Were you beauty-obsessed early on?
I’ve been exposed to beauty since a very young age. We’re kind of beauty babies. My mum Jenny has been in the beauty industry for 20+ years and is notorious for bringing her work home. Although I wasn’t always obsessed with beauty, that was essentially the catalyst to the inception of Nudestix; easy, effortless and minimalist beauty for the everyday woman.
It all sounds like a very organic transition. Was there ever a time where you or your sister Ally considered a different career path?
My sister Ally is currently in Medical School pursuing Dermatology. I am still extremely involved in Nudestix and have not considered other paths thus far as I’ve been so focused on the growth of the brand. However, I love beauty, and don’t see myself exiting the industry any time soon!
What course did you study at University (if any)? Are there any other qualifications or experiences you had that you think were paramount in helping you get where you are today?
When we launched Nudestix, I was in my last year of high school, entering into my first year of University. For the first year and a half, I studied business. However, I quickly decided to take a “sabbatical”, to pursue Nudestix full-time. Because of this, I had very little qualifications or experience when launching Nudestix. However, throughout our company growth, launching globally and building a team, I have acquired skills such as public speaking, brand marketing, sales, product development and more.
Can you offer any tips for aspiring entrepreneurs looking to start a business?
It is so crucial to have a strong, clear emotional and rational reason to exist. This vision will drive you, your company growth, and inspire your community.
Tell us about Nudestix. How did you know where to start?
Our mission was and continues to be [all about creating] beauty products for real life. Inspired by the modern day, multitasking woman today, we developed a collection of easy, minimalist and multitasking beauty products that enhance your natural beauty, never masking it — to reveal and feel your most confident self.
Have you done much travel with your job? If so, what has been a highlight?
Yes, I’ve done a ton of travel launching our brand globally. A highlight for me has been travelling to Sydney, Australia. Being Canadian, I felt very connected to the city and loved the people! Not to mention the fact that you have the best of the city and the beach. Fun fact: our best selling Nudies shade is ‘Bondi Bae’!
You’re widely recognised as trendsetters within the beauty industry, where do you look for inspiration?
I look to my peers, our Nudestix community, social media and runway!
You’ve recently introduced a skin care arm to your range: Nudeskin. How was this product development process and launch different from your first time around when you launched Nudestix?
Nudeskin is a lineup of simple, multitasking, vegan-powdered skincare backed by skin science and efficacy. Nudeskin was challenging to formulate, as we creating a hybrid line of skincare; clean meets clinical. In order to bring Nudeskin to life, we partnered with a Cosmetic Dermatologist (Dr. Jason Emer) to advise on our formulas and ensure we were meeting dermatology standards of efficacy, but yet aligning with our Nudeskin standards of environmentally conscious, clean and vegan.
When you first started Nudestix, how did the three of you decide to split up the roles within the business?
Initially, our roles were defined by business needs, skills and interests. Our roles have evolved overtime as the business needs have shifted and/or we have developed additional skills and experiences to take on new roles. There are also times where we have internal infrastructure changes where the founders need to step in and take on a new role or a responsibility.
It sounds like you’re wearing many different hats. What do you consider the most challenging part of your role at Nudestix?
Continuing to stay relevant and innovative as the market continues to saturate.
And what do you consider the best/your favourite part of your role at Nudestix?
I love interacting with our Nudestix community! Whether it’s via social or IRL!
What advice would you give to those looking to land a role working in a company like Nudestix?
Do your research about the brand and don’t be afraid to speak up in a room full of people! We want to hear your fresh ideas, and your voice is incredibly valuable.
You’ve previously collaborated with Kendall Jenner’s makeup artist Mary Phillips and are a favourite among many A-listers. What has your biggest ‘pinch me’ moment been so far?
I would say collaborating with my childhood icon Hilary Duff!
Are there any other beauty brands or people within the industry that you admire?
I've always admired Jen Atkin of Ouai, Marianna Hewitt and Emily Weiss.
Last question, what are the top 3 Nudestix products you can’t live without?
1. Nudies All-Over Face Color, $51 at Sephora
2. NUDESKIN Citrus C Mask & Daily Moisturizer. $61 at Sephora
3. Tinted Cover Foundation, $56 at Sephora